Boutique 716 is back and better than ever with another round of promotions encouraging people to buy and support local. This initiative was originally born as a way to induce revenue and sales to businesses and restaurants due to losses suffered during the covid-19 pandemic. Christine Langenfeld, Director of Operations and Marketing for the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, shared with us some insights into the origins of the initiative and what we can expect for the future this year.
“Boutique 716 was born last November and it’s been about a year now. Originally, there was an Erie County Business Task Force that was set up to find ways for businesses to recover from COVID. One of the things that came out of this working group and some of the subcommittees that came out of this larger working group was that what companies needed back then was just sales. . They needed people to go out, shop, and spend money in their restaurant or outlet.
In order to combat this problem and boost sales for our local businesses, they created an electronic gift card program that pairs the initiative with technology offered by Amherst chamber partner Yiftee. Using an electronic gift card reduces the use of plastic, but still acts like a MasterCard and merchant participation is free.
“We kicked off the initiative at that point with, ‘Buy $ 25 Shop 716 e-gift card, get $ 25 e-gift card free. Then for Thanksgiving week, we have ‘buy $ 50, get $ 50′. Buy an e-gift card of $ 25 or more and get a free e-gift card of $ 25 in return, sponsored by Erie County and Erie County Bicentennial, while supplies last (limit of ‘one per buyer).
During that first 7-week promotional period in 2020, the initiative injected $ 1.1 million into the local economy and Erie County. Even after the BOGO promotion ended last December, the electronic gift card program has continued with the same goal of encouraging people to shop and buy locally in order to support the economic viability of our community! Today, the program amounts to nearly $ 2 million and the mission remains the same … SHOP LOCAL.
“When you have a strong and vibrant trading system in your community, you have an overall healthy region. Small businesses are the backbone of the United States of America; without small businesses we wouldn’t have big businesses either. So it really starts at the local level.
Not only is local shopping positive for our local business owners who are our friends, family and active members of the community, it is also environmentally friendly. By keeping everything that is produced in the Queen City here, you will exponentially reduce trucking and gas costs and in turn reduce harmful carbon emissions. With a list of over 700 merchants who are part of this program, you are sure to find just about anything you need without logging into your Amazon account.
“You can use the Shop 716 electronic gift card at many local restaurants, the zoo shop, botanical gardens, and even the Buffalo Philharmonic. So, many different industries are available through this list. “
“It’s while supplies last, so don’t wait to get yours today!” When the free gifts are gone, the Shop 716 eGift Card program will still be there. It’s great for gifts. It’s even great to treat yourself!
For more information, visit https://amherst.org/shop716/ to get your e-gift card now and choose to support the locals this holiday season!