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Shopping locally for Christmas

One present guaranteed to be appreciated is to gift certificate from the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber gift certificates are good at more than 380 local businesses.

“You can spend it on clothing, groceries or gas, or you can use the certificate to pay electric bills or hospital bills,” according to Terri Schulz, chamber president. “You can go out for dinner or you can use it to help buy or repair a furnace.”

Schulz said the certificates are recognized by all chamber members.

Members rangie from antique stores, auto dealers and aviation, to book stores, bait shops and banquet facilities, clothing stores and carpet cleaning, department stores and dentists, fabric shops, fitness centers, gift shops, golf courses, home repair, hair salons and health services, movie theaters, restaurants, veterinarians and just about everything in between.

“If you don’t know what to give somebody, the gift certificate gives them a lot of options of where they can spend it,” Schulz said.

She noted that every certificate has a list of participating businesses.

Chamber gift certificates can be made out for any amount. However, Schulz recommends buying them in increments of $20 or $25 dollars.

“The goal is to get people to shop locally and to spend the entire certificate at one place,” Schulz said.

She said that every dollar spent at a local business turns over within the community about seven times.

“When I buy a meal at a local restaurant, they pay their employees, who in turn shop at the local grocery store, whose employees then use it to buy gas or clothes,” Schulz said. “The money circulates throughout the community, creating more jobs.”

Schulz says the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce sells more than $40,000 of gift certificates every holiday season.

The program has been encouraging local shopping for more than 25 years.

A lot of businesses will use these certificates as Christmas gifts for their employees,” Schulz said.

Schulz encourages those who want large numbers of certificates to call ahead so the chamber can have them ready when they come to the office.

“We also have people whose parents live in Waupaca and they’ll call and ask us to send a certificate directly to them,” she said.
This Christmas season, the chamber will sponsor “Elf on the Shelf,” a promotion set to run from Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28 through Dec. 20.

Numbered elf dolls will be secretly placed on shelves at 29 participating business. The chamber will post photos of each elf on its website and Facebook pages. The first photo of each elf will be a close up, then as time goes by, the shot will pull away so that more of the business can be seen.

The public is encouraged to find the elves around town and submit their list of locations with the elves’ numbers to the chamber by Dec. 20. All correct entries will be put into a drawing for prizes.

Grand prize will be a $100 chamber gift certificate. There will also be a $25 gift certificate from each of the participating businesses.

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