The community was eager to tackle its Christmas shopping locally this year, and that was good news for the businesses that are part of the Shop Estevan initiative.
Shop Estevan held multiple promotions for the community in the weeks leading up to Christmas, in an effort to get people to spend money locally and to promote Estevan. The most high-profile one was a drive-in concert featuring country music singer Justin LaBrash and his band True North on Dec. 19.
Vehicles filled the Estevan Leisure Centre’s parking lot for two performances, and people could hear the music on their radios.
“It was something different and something you can still do safely during the pandemic,” said Laurel Buck with the Shop Estevan committee.
The committee was fortunate that the concert was held on a mild but windy day.
A drive-in concert is something they would do again, she said, but in the summer months, so that people could roll down their windows to hear the music.
“Everybody was pleased with the concert,” said Buck.
Shop Estevan held an online auction to help cover the cost of bringing LaBrash and his group to Estevan, with items supplied by the different businesses.
The committee also sold more than $27,000 Shop Estevan Bucks in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Buck said the popularity of the currency exceeded her expectations.
People purchase the Shop Estevan Bucks, and then they can use them at any of the businesses listed in the QR Code on the back of the Shop Estevan Bucks.
“It’s nice that the money from that stayed in Estevan,” said Buck.
New businesses are coming on board with the initiative, with three joining last week alone. Retailers and hospitality sector businesses are eager to join, because not only does it encourage people to shop locally, it promotes Estevan as a shopping destination for others.
Their latest promotion is that if people post a photo or discuss their favourite item that they purchased from a Shop Estevan business for Christmas, they will be entered to win $100 in Shop Estevan Bucks.