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Customer cash giveaways set for local downtowns

ADDISON COUNTY — The Addison County Chamber of Commerce, Better Middlebury Partnership, Bristol CORE, and Vergennes Partnership recently collaborated on a consumer stimulus grant proposal. The groups have now received $40,000 in grants from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s Restart Vermont Regional Marketing and Stimulus Grant program. 
The program is intended to support organizations implementing campaigns and initiatives that will increase consumer spending, support local businesses, and advance community recovery efforts in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 
The organizations partnered to create the “10 Day, $35K Giveaway!” promotion to encourage shopping in the three downtowns of Addison County. On random days and times, retail customers will be awarded local currency to be used for shopping and dining in all three towns. Promotion organizers anticipate that downtown businesses will see an increase in customers eager to win money at the register, and then businesses throughout the county will be the ultimate recipients of that prize money. The event is set to run November 5-14. 
The three downtown partnerships will be distributing envelopes filled with varying amounts of local currency to participating businesses for them to give away. They will let the businesses know at what days and times to hand those envelopes out. “This joint promotion will showcase all of the downtowns’ many unique businesses just ahead of the holiday season,” said Rob Carter, President of the Addison County Chamber of Commerce. 
Executive Director of the Better Middlebury Partnership Karen Duguay added, “Many of the events and promotions our communities usually enjoy have fallen by the wayside because of the pandemic. We think this will be a great way to draw people to our downtown areas in a safe manner.” 
The partners will use $5,000 of the grant funds on marketing the promotion through local vendors, including print shops, newspapers, and radio. Project organizers are looking forward to this opportunity to collaborate on a county-wide promotion that will bring much needed consumer dollars to the local area.

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