Shop in downtown Albion just three times and win up to $500. Albion’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) with the Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce is in the middle of its first-ever, 8-week “Albion Bucks” raffle.
First prize in the raffle is $500, followed by $400 for second place and $300 for third. The raffle is a part of a “Shop Local” campaign to attract customers to downtown businesses. The prizes are awarded in “Albion Bucks,” redeemable at 46 businesses in Albion.
The raffle closes on Nov. 20, and winners will be announced after the annual “Albion Aglow” Christmas parade downtown. Anyone who has entered their name three times into the raffle is eligible to win.
“We are trying to raise awareness for people to see what businesses there are in the downtown and use them,” said Nidia Wolf, director of the DDA.
You may not have yet heard of the Albion Bucks raffle, but that certainly isn’t for lack of trying.
“It’s been difficult to advertise on campus,” Wolf said. Initially the DDA put out ads in the Albion Recorder, Morning Star and The Marshall Chronicle. Now the ads are only running in the Morning Star. The DDA is “most certainly” interested in attracting student business, Wolf said.
Emily Webb, White Lake senior, entered herself into the raffle last week while at Charlie’s Tavern downtown.
“I am off-board so I don’t really get the Albion bucks or eat shop money any more. It’d be nice to have that little nest egg to use when I need a treat,” Webb said if she won a prize.
Web said she would like to see more campus involvement in the Shop Local campaign.
“I think it’s a good idea, but I wouldn’t have really known about it if I hadn’t gone there for dinner one night,” Webb said. “The word needs to get out to the students or else it won’t really be an effective technique.”
The prize money for winning the raffle comes from the participating merchants themselves. Each merchant contributed a fee pooled to cover the cost of advertising and the prize money.
When asked if this will be the only “Albion Bucks” raffle Wolf said, “It will be up to the merchants to decide if they found value in this promotion and plan to do it again.”