Yesterday, Christy Gillenwater, The Chamber’s President and CEO, wrote a post about buying local this holiday season and supporting the Bloomington economy. Three key days of the holiday shopping season are coming up in the next week, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. These days provide consumers special discounted pricing to encourage shopping, while also bringing more customers into businesses. Some of our member’s specials for these “retail holidays” are listed below:
Scotty’s Brewhouse has a promotion going on that gives customers money back for buying gift cards. If a guest buys a $50.00 gift card they will receive $10.00 back. If a guest buys $100.00 gift card they will receive $25.00 back. Guests that buy $500.00 or more will receive 30% back. In addition to this promotion they will also be running specials on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On these days, customers will receive twice as many bonus bucks back on $50.00 and $100.00 gift cards and 40% back on $500.00 or more. In addition Scotty’s is offering 25% off any products online or in-store.
Another local establishment celebrating the holiday season is Les Champs Elysees Day Spa & Salon. It is offering a 25% discount on all services, all day on Small Business Saturday, November 27th. Men’s and women’s cuts and color are available with Sasha, Kelly D, Liesel, Erin, Misty and Maeve, wax and/or facials with Jacqueline, and massages with Jeremy. In addition, Les Champs Elysees is also offering a 20% discount on gift cards. Customers may purchase a gift card towards any of our Spa and/or Salon services with a $50 value for $40. There is a limit of 2 gift cards per client, and only one gift card may be redeemed at a time.
Does your company have a special? Leave a comment and we’ll add it to our list.
Last month we had the pleasure of co-hosting the 2011 Business Outlook Panel and Lunch, a presentation forecasting the economy in the upcoming year by a panel from the Indiana University The Kelley School of Business. Their forecast was, for the most part, “optimistically pessimistic.” Though my take on our local economy is more along the lines of “cautiously optimistic,” their outlook prompted me to think about our economy, and what, if anything, we can do to stimulate growth. I quickly realized, the holidays are coming up, which presents an excellent opportunity for the local economy to get jump started.
Our area businesses are geared up and ready for the holiday-buying season. Inventory stands ready, as do expectations. Nationally, the buzzwords around this year’s buying season include “lackluster” and “muted”. Such rhetoric does nothing to build consumers’ confidence nor does it encourage shoppers to venture out within their communities to celebrate all their hometowns offer. Such rhetoric doesn’t help to get the economy rolling. So while we may not be able to make a major difference in the economy nationally, we all play a role in shaping our local economy by the decisions we make as to where to make our holiday purchases. I challenge you to take an active role by consciously making the decision to stay IN Bloomington and buy local this holiday season. Continue reading
Next week I will enter my fifth month of working for The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. In my short time we have made great strides improving the look, content and capability of our website. However, all that progress means nothing if our visitors and users don’t know what we have to offer. Whether you’re a Chamber member, resident of Bloomington, or visitor from out of town, The Chamber website can help you with many of your needs.
- Business Directory- The Chamber sends out a print business directory once a year, but for a real-time directory, our website is the place to go. When you visit our site you can click one of the various links on the front page to take you to the directory, or search it directly with the Google Site Search located in the upper right hand corner. If you decide to go to the directory page you can search by organization name, category, or choose from a list of all of the categories.
- Coupons- The Chamber website features an excellent coupon section. There is both a public and members only section featuring coupons that can be used for discount on great products such as a visit to Beams Health and Wellness Spa or Zumba classes at BloomZum Dance Studio. You can download the coupons by following this link, or visiting the Chamber Website and clicking coupons on the right side. For Chamber Members, you can also post coupons to your business. All you have to do is go into the members only section and click add coupon, or call or e-mail us here at the chamber with the information and we can post it for you.
- Job/Internship Board- Another seldom used, but excellent resource is our job/internship board. Under the employment tab on The Chamber website, businesses can post open positions which anyone can see. Just like the coupon section, businesses can either post the jobs themselves through the members only section, or they can contact us at The Chamber to do it for them. Many individuals looking for jobs view The Chamber’s site, and unlike other job posting services, ours is free.
- Members Only Section- The final section I will detail is the Members Only section. As I explained earlier, this is a member’s portal to post coupons or jobs/internships. There are a lot of other capabilities through this section as well. You can sign up for events, update your profile information, and look at your referral report. A referral report is one of the most valuable tools for a Chamber member. It detail how many people have seen your companies listing in the directory, how many times it’s been clicked, and how many people have mapped the location. This is a great tool to use to make sure your maximizing your membership investment.
For more information, or help using any of The Chamber’s online features please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d also love for people to start using the comment section below, so if you have any ideas to improve our site and its functionality please post.