Business groups are rolling out promotional events to encourage people to shop at locally owned businesses during the holiday season.
The Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce is boosting local merchants with a second session of “Local-Opoly” and Uptown Greenville is distributing gift cards to Emerald Express trolly riders.
Modeled after Monopoly, Local-Opoly encourages players to shop or visit participating businesses or “like” their social media to collect property cards to win prizes.
The first Local-Opoly was sponsored last year as a way to encourage people worried about shopping in national big box stores during the COVID-19 pandemic to patronize local businesses.
Many local retailers, personal care providers and other small businesses endured lengthy closures in the early days of the pandemic because they were not deemed “essential” and later because of social distancing requirements.
“It was so successful. Last year it was needed more than ever,” said Aileen Peacock, the chamber’s director of talent and events. “We always like to promote shopping locally so since it was such a success we certainly want to continue the mission of having the community shop local.”
Individuals who complete property blocks — businesses that are grouped under a certain color — can submit receipts and screenshots of likes to enter a raffle drawing, Peacock said.
At least $2,500 in $500 increments will be given away in the raffle. Players also will be entered into a drawing for $500 for every completed category they return.
All receipts and screenshots must be turned in at the chamber, 302 S. Greene St., by 3 p.m. Dec. 10. The property block prize drawings will be broadcast via Facebook Live on Dec. 14.
Twenty-four of the 40 businesses on this year’s gameboard are repeat participants, Peacock said.
Some of the participating businesses don’t have products that can be purchased, Peacock said. Depending on the business, people can verify their visit by posting a selfie from the business, schedule a tour or take a screenshot of “liking” the business on their social media.
A game board and a list of the businesses and their property requirements can be found at www.greenvillenc.org.
Uptown Greenville, the organization that promotes businesses in the downtown area and city center, is promoting Small Business Saturday and its members with gift cards.
Shoppers are encouraged to hop on the Emerald Express, a trolley that offers free transportation along a 13-stop route throughout the center city area, from noon to 8 p.m. to reach different businesses.
Riders will get a gift card to spend at a local merchant, according to an Uptown Greenville news release.
A complete list of Uptown Greenville businesses visit https://uptowngreenville.com/shop.