'Shop Local' program back for 2nd year

It’s back!  Come on In and support your local economy – and get a free chance to win holiday cash at the same time. From Nov. 29 through Dec. 16, the Starke County Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring the “Shop Local” program. Customers will shop at participating member’s establishments and receive a card with that business’s unique stamp. Use the same card to get stamped by another participating member. Once the card is filled with eight different stamps, the card can be brought to a drop off box and will be entered into a drawing on Dec. 17 to win cash.
Each participating business will have cards on hand to provide to the customers and at the Knox Gateway Depot. The customer will ask the business to stamp their card. A fully stamped card will go into the drawing.  Participants can enter more than once, but the important key is that different stamps are in each stamp area. 
“This program was developed to encourage the community to support local businesses. Its timing was determined to incorporate holiday shopping,” said Debbie Mix, executive director of the Starke County Chamber of Commerce. “Using local merchants and businesses is the path to a sound economic community.  In this economy, spending our dollars locally helps maintain jobs here, pays taxes here, and allows the community to grow, offering even more services and merchants in the immediate area.”
Most businesses will require something. Retails will require a purchase.  Other businesses may ask you to learn about their business by accepting a brochure, getting a quote, etc. – whatever is pertinent to their business.  The businesses want consumers know that they can meet their shopping needs. Last year's winner was Lonnie Keehn of Winamac.
This year, there will be two $50 cash prizes. And who can’t use a few extra dollars? People who plan on buying it, spend it in Starke County.  It will save on fuel and costumers be pleasantly surprised what they’ll
find in their own backyard.
2011 Shop Local participants include: 1st Source Bank – U.S. 35, Knox, Affordable Insurance – 1512 S Heaton, Knox, Alco Store – Knox Mall, Alpacafe / B&K Drive In –1208 S. Heaton, Knox, Back To Basics Organics – Knox Mall, Golden Living Center – 300 E. Culver Road, Knox (S.R. 8), H&R Block – Knox Mall, HealthLinc –  102 E. Culver, Suite 101 next to IU Starke Hospital, Kerstings Cycle – U.S. 39, a mile south of North Judson, Knox Liquors – 1200 S Heaton, Knox, Mikey’s Pizza Pit Stop, 10 N. Main St., Knox, North Judson Public  Library – 208 Keller Ave., North Judson, Specialty Shoppe – Knox Mall, Starke County Library – 152 W Culver Road, Knox,
Walgreens – 1207 S Heaton, Knox, Wintersong Village – Edgewater Dr, Knox, and the Wooden Nickel -117 Main St., North Judson.
More businesses may be joining and if so, they will be listed on the sheets provided with the cards. All Chamber members have the opportunity to participate.