RANGELY I The Town of Rangely’s Shop and Dine program kicks off Nov. 1, along with a new Rangely Chamber of Commerce Holiday Gift Guide.
The gift guide promotes sales, specials and services offered by approximately 15 local chamber member businesses, Rangely Area Chamber of Commerce Director Kristin Steele said.
The purpose of the guide is to “offer residents creative ideas and solutions for completing their holiday shopping list without having to leave town,” according to a letter sent to chamber members earlier this fall.
“We wanted to give people the option of varying the places they shop in town,” Steele said. “Some businesses offer services and products people may not even realize they have.”
For example, while many townspeople know that Nichols Store sells Rangely sports and casual clothing, they may not realize the store also carries jerky-making kits. The guide also advertises Giovanni’s Italian Grill pizza specials and Blue Mountain Inn room discounts, among other offers.
“This is a new thing for Rangely, and because we don’t have a lot of retail businesses, I think some chamber members weren’t sure what to do,” Steele said. “Next year, we will have more ways to say to our members, ‘Even if you’re not a retail business, you can do something for this.’”
The guide will appear in the November Town of Rangely utility bill insert and other venues starting later this month. Its release corresponds closely with the Town of Rangely’s Shop ‘N’ Dine sales tax rebate program, now in its sixth year.
Shop ‘N’ Dine offers up to $30 in cash rebates per person in exchange for receipts consumers turn in to the Town of Rangely in November. Receipts from Rangely businesses that collect sales tax are eligible for the program; purchases of tobacco, fuel and pharmaceuticals are not.
Every $50 in receipts consumers bring in—up to $300—earns them a $5 voucher to spend in a participating retail store. While the program is billed for the month of November, Nov. 28 is the last day to exchange receipts for vouchers. Participants must spend all vouchers by Monday, Dec. 1.
This is the second year that town officials have earmarked $11,000 from the Town’s Economic Development Fund for the voucher program, up from $10,000 in previous years.
“We’re trying to create opportunities for shoppers to go into our businesses and see what’s actually here locally,” Rangely Town Manager Peter Brixius said. “Changing shopping habits is a tough thing to do. But Shop ‘N’ Dine does seem to have a positive impact on sales tax numbers for various businesses around town.”
Brixius said how effective Shop ‘N’ Dine is for local retailers depends partly on how well owners and employees promote the program internally.