Jessie Duke, of Soldotna, browses books with 7-month-old Danny Dommek on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, at River City Books in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Jessie Duke, of Soldotna, browses books with 7-month-old Danny Dommek on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, at River City Books in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna shop local program ends with funds fully expended

The program was made possible using federal CARES Act funds

Soldotna’s 2021 shop local program generated more than $1 million in local spending, the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce said in an update announcing the end of the program last week.

The program, which ran from Nov. 15 to Dec. 14, offered $100 vouchers to people who spend $200 or more on discretionary purchases at Soldotna businesses. The program ended a day earlier than planned due to all funds being expended, the chamber said in the update. Additionally, the program saw an influx of late participants, with more than 850 shoppers submitting receipts between Dec. 10 and Dec. 14.

The City of Soldotna set aside $350,000 in federal CARES Act money, $310,000 of which was used for direct incentives to shoppers and $40,000 of which was used for administrative costs. A similar program offered last year saw 58 businesses and more than 2,800 shoppers participate, generating over $850,000 in spending at Soldotna businesses, according to the chamber.

“The Soldotna Chamber is proud to have administered this program for the City of Soldotna, to the benefit of Soldotna businesses and Kenai Peninsula residents,” the chamber wrote. “Every dollar spent locally turns over in our community seven times. Thank you to everyone who chose to shop local in 2021.”

More information about the program can be found on the chamber’s website at visitsoldotna.com/chamber/soldotna/shop-local/.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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