Woodstock chamber launches raffle to encourage shoppers to buy local

Shoppers frequenting Woodstock small businesses have a chance to win up to $1,000 through a new Woodstock Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry program.

Under the new Shop, Save & Win Holiday Retail Program, the Woodstock Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry will provide $20 to the first 325 participants who submit receipts showing they've spent at least $200 in qualified retail purchases from two to five eligible businesses, according to a news release.

The program, funded using $10,000 by the city of Woodstock, encourages shoppers to shop local as small brick-and-mortar businesses struggle with an ongoing decrease in foot traffic and sales since March, according to the release.

“The holiday season means so much to small independent retailers, it can make or break their entire year," Janice Ricci Wilcox of The Thoughtfulness Shop and My Little Bow Peeps Shop said in the news release. "The vibrancy and uniqueness of our local economy in the future may depend on all of our shopping habits the next six weeks.”

Program participants will be entered for a chance to split $2,000 with the Woodstock retailer of their choice. Second place is $1,000 and third place is $500, both of which will be split with a local business. Participants may turn in up to two one submissions using different receipts.

If the remaining $6,500 earmarked for $20 reimbursements is not claimed, the chamber will offer additional $500 prizes to benefit more participants and local retailers, according to the release.

A list of eligible retailers can be found on the Woodstock chamber's website. Receipts must be dated between Nov. 27 and Dec. 31. This program is for receipts from small, independent brick-and-mortar retail businesses only. The deadline to submit receipts is noon Jan. 4.