“Unwrap Soldotna” promotes local holiday spending by offering prizes to customers who frequent local establishments.

“Unwrap Soldotna” promotes local holiday spending by offering prizes to customers who frequent local establishments.

Unwrap Soldotna wraps up

The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce is wrapping up “Unwrap Soldotna” — a holiday campaign aimed at ramping up spending at local businesses — with a trivia competition and grand prize raffle on tonight, Dec. 19.

The campaign, which began Nov. 20, provided a $25 gift certificate each week to the winner of a raffle. Entry forms for the raffle could be filled out at one of the 19 participating local businesses.

“The general idea behind the program is to remind people to spend money locally for holiday season,” Andy Heuiser, the events and programs coordinator for the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, said.

The promotion, which has been around for about four years, motivates lots of customers to fill out entry slips, Heuiser said.

“The amount that we collect each week is pretty massive,” Heuiser said.

Everything Bagels coffee shop has participated in the promotion for the past several years. Co-owner Pamela Parker said raffle has not only been a hit with regulars, but brought new faces to the store.

“I do think this program has really helped to encourage people to keep their money local,” Parker said.

The shop ran out of the entry forms at one point, which required customers to fill out index cards instead.

“It’s been a very successful program. We’re very happy to be a part of it,” Parker said.

Odie’s Deli owner Megan Schaafsma said the promotion has garnered lots of interest from customers.

“We have a pretty good amount of traffic,” Schaafsma said. “Our basket is usually full.”

Odie’s will also host the trivia competition and grand prize drawing.

The winner of the grand prize will receive $1,000 in chamber bucks, which they can redeem at any of the participating businesses. The Chamber of Commerce will reimburse businesses for the value of purchases made with the chamber bucks, Shanon Davis, executive director of the Soldotna Chamber, said.

Everything Bagels manager Maranda Powell makes a coffee on Dec. 18. The coffee shop has participated in the “Unwrap Soldotna” campaign for several years.

Everything Bagels manager Maranda Powell makes a coffee on Dec. 18. The coffee shop has participated in the “Unwrap Soldotna” campaign for several years.

Everything Bagels co-owner Pamela Parker is photographed on Dec. 18. Parker says the buy local campaign has helped bring new faces to her cafe.

Everything Bagels co-owner Pamela Parker is photographed on Dec. 18. Parker says the buy local campaign has helped bring new faces to her cafe.

Pizza Boys manager Robbie Smithwick poses with an entry form container on Dec. 18. Pizza Boys is one of 19 Soldotna businesses participating in the “Unwrap Soldotna” campaign.

Pizza Boys manager Robbie Smithwick poses with an entry form container on Dec. 18. Pizza Boys is one of 19 Soldotna businesses participating in the “Unwrap Soldotna” campaign.

“Unwrap Soldotna” promotes local holiday spending by offering prizes to customers who frequent local establishments.

“Unwrap Soldotna” promotes local holiday spending by offering prizes to customers who frequent local establishments.

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