Chamber begins shop-local wristband campaign

QUICKREAD

The Blue Band Program

Eleven businesses so far are offering promotions

• Ale House, 2531 N. 12th St.: Get 15 percent off food Sunday through Thursday.

• Associates in Behavioral Counseling, 518 28 Road, Suite B 209: free confidential screening for alcohol/drug problems, gambling and addictive behaviors.

• Bellco Credit Union, 2478 U.S. Highway 6&50: free membership for approved membership applications.

• Black Carriage Furniture, 2580 U.S. Highway 6&50: Get 15 percent off any one item at regular price. Buy an item from the Country Store and get a second item of equal or lesser value half off.

• CommWest, 302 South Ave.: Get a gift card to a local merchant with system purchase.

• Cranium 360, 222 N. Seventh St.: New clients will get 10 percent of the first year’s worth of work by Cranium 360 donated to United Way of Mesa County. Expires May 2011.

• Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, 360 Grand Ave.: Get two free Grand Junction area maps when wearing a blue band or a 10 percent discount on the first year of membership if the new member participates in the Blue Band Program.

• Harrahs Hair Skin & Nails, 1005 N. 12th St., Suite 102: Get 10 percent off Paul Mitchell products when wearing a blue band.

• Mountain Clear Water Co. Inc., 1445 Motor St.: Get a $35 coupon on start-up of home or business delivery service.

• Seasons to Follow, LLC/Gifts Baskets for all Reasons, 612 Main St.: Get 10 percent off entire purchase and 5 percent of purchase donated to Community Cat Care on the first Saturday of every month.

• U.S. Tech, 2465 Patterson Road: free wireless headphone with a back seat video system purchase for a car or van.



The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce has invested in 7,500 blue rubber wristbands in hopes of jump-starting the local economy.

Locals can pick up the bands at the chamber office, Mesa Mall or any business participating in the chamber’s new buy-local campaign, which launched Monday with the moniker, Blue Band Program.

Anyone wearing one of the wristbands, which are stamped with the message, “Buy local, support the Grand Valley,” can get discounts at participating businesses, which will be identified by “Jump on the Blue Band Wagon” bumper stickers in their stores, restaurants or other type of businesses.

The discounts are secondary to reminding people whenever they look at the blue band on their wrist that buying from local businesses helps keep dollars in town, chamber Executive Director Diane Schwenke said.

“There’s still some struggling going on. It’s still very up and down” in the local economy, Schwenke said. “Businesses in this area still need the support of local consumers.”

The campaign is open to businesses across Mesa County and extends to non-chamber members, Schwenke said. A list of participants is available at GJChamber.org/BlueBandWagon.asp.

Luann Harrah of Harrahs Hair Skin & Nails said she decided to join the Blue Band campaign to promote her business and help others stay afloat as well.

“We want to keep the dollars here, we want to keep the jobs here and we want everyone to be successful in the Grand Valley,” she said.

Nathan Wallace, a member of the chamber committee running the program with small businesses, said shopping in one’s community helps inflate job opportunities and tax dollars in a city.

“For every dollar spent locally it will turn over three times” here, he said. “The more business we can keep local, the more jobs and tax dollars we keep in our community.”

The program will run indefinitely, but the campaign’s momentum will pick up before key shopping seasons, such as back-to-school time and the holidays, Schwenke said. Blue bands will be handed out at this summer’s farmers market in downtown Grand Junction and during one night of the upcoming Alpine Bank Junior College World Series.


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