Shopping local this holiday season could make you $10,000 richer.
The St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce kicked-off its annual 'Shop St. Joseph' holiday program Wednesday.
Shoppers can collect a free ticket for visiting participating businesses and an additional ticket for every $10 spent.
The tickets will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win $10,000.
The program is focused on helping local businesses stay competitive with the growing popularity of online shopping, while generating tax revenue for city.
Natalie Redmond, Vice President of Membership for the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce said this is a simple way for shoppers to help out the community.
“Obviously we want to encourage folks to think about shopping local during the holidays. Keeping their money local versus maybe online or in other communities. So that it goes back to St. Joseph and Buchanan County and helps us with our tax base here so we can do improvements in the community,” Redmond said.
Redmond said the program is not exclusive to St. Joseph residents, and often brings in shoppers from the surrounding communities.
"We've had great successes from people coming from outside of our community," Redmond said. "We see it as more of an awareness program. It is designed to remind people to shop local during the holidays and it brings people in from the regions, so we look at it as a way to boost the economy,"
While only one lucky shopper can take home the $10,000 prize, non-winning tickets are submitted for second chance prizes. Redmond anticipates 50 participating businesses will be donating prizes for the second chance winners.
The program will continue through December 18. The grand prize drawing will be December 20 with the winner to be announced on KQ2 and www.st.joechannel.com.
For a full list of participating businesses log on to http://saintjoseph.com/shop-st-joseph/ .
For St. Joseph businesses that are interested in participating in Shop St. Joseph, contact Natalie Redmond at firstname.lastname@example.org.