If you’re looking for another reason to spend your cash locally this holiday season, this could be it. Holiday Shopping Passports are back in Peterborough, Ont.’s downtown.
“Every time you shop, if you spend $10, you earn a stamp,” said Hillary Flood, communications manager for the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA). “So, you shop, stamp, repeat — it’s that easy.”
Once you fill your card, you can enter it for a chance to win some downtown dollars — three $500 Boro cards are up for grabs in December, with a grand prize draw worth $1,500 taking place in the new year.
The program is an annual initiative put on through the DBIA. Flood said it is a fun way to entice shoppers to the downtown.
“It just makes shopping during the holidays a little bit more exciting,” said Flood. “You’re part of the community where you’re collecting stamps, exploring our historic downtown and enjoying the charm that comes along with it. And, you know, getting rewarded along the way.”
And if you’re looking for a bit of gift-giving inspiration, we’ve got you covered. At Wild Rock Outfitters, co-owner Scott Murison said the pandemic prompted a boom in outdoor activity and demand for outdoor gear is continuing this holiday season.
“This winter season is kicking off quickly, lots of demand because people still love playing outside. Snowshoes, cross-country skis have all been in demand,” said Murison. “People are trying to figure out how to get themselves suited up for a winter of outdoor activity.”
He also said that, while they may not be in season, bikes, kayaks and canoes are also popular picks after supply issues in the summer.
At nearby Coture Candy PTBO, owner Lisa Couture said they are also ready for the season.
“We have all of our Christmas stock in now,” said Couture. “We’ve been downtown for two years now and we have officially declared ourselves stocking-stuffer headquarters for Peterborough and the Kawarthas.”
And it seems the passports are a ‘sweet’ deal for downtown Peterborough. Flood said last year more than $2 million was tracked through the passports.
“Through just the passports alone, there was $2.5 million in spending,” Flood said. “This is a great economic booster to bring into the city centre and help small businesses at a time that we are really focusing on recovery.”
That makes it even more important to spend locally this year, she added.
Another popular gift idea? Désirée Kretschmar, owner of Plant Goals PTBO, said why not make it a green Christmas this year and add a houseplant to that holiday shopping list.
“I think it’s the hobby that everyone decided to start or go really hardcore into during the pandemic,” said Kretschmar. “We have so many different plants that are great for beginners, so if someone wants a plant for a gift we are happy to point them to something that they don’t have to worry will die right away.
“We have easy plants that anyone from beginner to a pro will appreciate and love.”
Passports can be picked up and dropped off at participating downtown locations and you can fill as many as you’d like. For more information, you can visit the Peterborough DBIA website.