Local initiative gives customers a ticket to shop

Shop Local Passport from the Gray-New Gloucester Development Corporation aims to get shoppers back into local businesses.

| Emily Bader, Lakes Region Weekly |

GRAY — The Gray-New Gloucester Development Corporation hopes to bring customers back into shops, restaurants and markets with a new initiative after state mandates forced many local businesses to close their doors for several months due to the coronavirus.

From now until October, if shoppers spend $25 or more in person at any of the 22 participating businesses with their “Shop Local Passport,” they will be entered into a drawing for $500. Normally this time of year, the Development Corporation would have been working on their third “Grow G-NG Challenge,” which is a $10,000 forgivable loan program, said President Tracy Scheckel.

“We really didn’t have enough money to do any kind of small business program that would really make a difference with everybody, so what we did is put this program together and get people shopping at these businesses … (We) want their presence in the businesses, where possible,” Scheckel said. Keep reading