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This holiday season, the best way to shop is close to home

During this time of pandemic, local businesses need residents’ support more than ever.

O’Fallon, St. Peters and St. Charles, Cottleville and Weldon Spring, Dardenne Prairie, Lake Saint Louis and Wentzville all have announced programs specifically to encourage residents to patronize local businesses during the holiday season. That includes shopping, dining and other services. 

O’Fallon

The O’Fallon Chamber of Commerce has rolled out a campaign known as “O’Fallon is Open for the Holidays.” From Nov. 9 through Dec. 7, participants can obtain stickers from local businesses and paste them into their “passports.” 

Participants can print the passports at home and use them to collect their stickers. Additionally, patrons can turn in as many passports as they like, according to O’Fallon Chamber President Kathy Duck.

“You do not have to fill the Passport with stickers before you turn it in,” Duck said. However, she noted that each business may have different guidelines to receiving additional stickers. 

(Source: O’Fallon Chamber of Commerce)

“Residents (must) turn in their passports to the O’Fallon Chamber office by no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, to be entered into a drawing,” explained Duck. “Three winners will be drawn on Dec. 10 for three collections of gift cards.

“For every sticker in your Passport, you are entered one time into the drawing for the gift card collections!”

The drawing will be streamed on Facebook live.

“Our Passport contestants that are not users of Facebook Live will still be notified,” Duck said. “We are collecting the participants’ emails, phone numbers and names, so we can reach out to them immediately following the drawing. 

In addition to the sets of gift cards (one with a value of $650, and two at $440 each), some local shops have donated items that do not have a gift card value.

“We are excited to be starting this event and hope that it continues for years to come!” Duck exclaimed. “We have amazing small businesses in our community and we are thrilled to help show them off.

Details and passports for printing can be found at OFallonChamber.org or by calling (636) 240-1818.

Cottleville and Weldon Spring

The Cottleville-Weldon Spring Chamber of Commerce has tagged its holiday shopping event as: “Shop. Eat. Enjoy.” It also gives the patrons of local businesses a chance to win prizes.

(Source: Cottleville – Weldon Spring Chamber of Commerce)

To be eligible, participants shop or eat at CWS Chamber businesses now through Dec. 31 and post a photo of their purchase or experience. Examples are a photo of your family dining at a member business, a photo of your curbside to-go order in your kitchen, a photo of you and your purchase, a photo of you and the business owner, a photo of your barre class or spin cycle class – and so on.

The easiest way to post those photos is to first join the members-only Facebook group, “CWS Chamber Connections.” However, patrons who do not use Facebook still can be entered for prizes. They simply need to send their photos via email to info@cwschamber.com.

Businesses being patronized must be CWS Chamber businesses.

Each week the Chamber will randomly select a photo/Facebook post to win a $25 gift certificate to a member business of their choice. In January, the Chamber will select one random winner to win a $100 gift certificate to a member business of their choice. 

Details can be found at cswchamber.com or by calling (636) 336-2979.

(Source: City of Dardenne Prairie)

Dardenne Prairie

“Dine in Dardenne Day” will take place for the first time on Nov. 28. The city hopes the inaugural event will become an annual tradition. 

“The emphasis is to raise awareness within our community that during the busy holiday season,” Economic Development Coordinator Doug Potts said. “Especially on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 28), if they’re planning on dining out with friends and family, they should think about patronizing our local restaurants.”  

St. Peters and St. Charles

“We have an ongoing effort called ‘Shop St. Peters’ that we’ve promoted for going on 18 years, and that has been helpful throughout the year,” said Lisa Bedian, St. Peters director of communications. “At the holidays we remind everyone that they have ‘so many choices-so close to home.

(Source: City of St. Peters/GSTCCC)

“We’ve also partnered with the Greater St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce (GSTCCC) and the city of St. Charles for several years on a promotion called ‘Shopping with the Saints.’  Details can be found at gstccc.com/shopping-with-the-saints.” 

“This is an important time of year for local retailers,” said Scott Tate, GSTCCC president and CEO. “When you shop local, you are also supporting jobs and the sales taxes you pay on your purchases are used to fund roads, police and parks. Additionally, by shopping local, you are also helping our community in other ways. You are supporting a business that donates to local charitable causes in their fundraising efforts, sponsors local little league teams and employs volunteers who make our community a great place to live.”

(Source: City of St. Peters/GSTCCC)

This year the city of St. Peters also is supporting the GSTCCC’s “Sip and Savor” passport. The program offers discounts for passport holders at businesses. that were scheduled to participate in the Sip and Savor event. While the annual tasting event has been canceled due to the pandemic, the merchants and the passport program still are “live.” 

Passports are available for purchase for $30 each during the holiday season and are good through June 30, 2021. Details can be found at sipandsavorpassport.com.

(Source: St. Charles County website)

Shoppers, diners, and seekers of services also can find local businesses’ special offers and discount coupons at discoverstcharles.com/plan/special-offers-and-coupons.

Lake Saint Louis

The Western St. Charles County Chamber’s community outreach event, “The 25 Days of Christmas,” includes Lake Saint Louis.

George Ertle, Lake Saint Louis’ assistant city administrator, encouraged residents to check out the event and “help support local businesses in Lake Saint Louis.” 

(Source: City of Lake Saint Louis/WSCC)

Belle Miller, WSCC’s communications and event coordinator, described the event as a scavenger hunt. 

“Each day we will post a clue on WSCC Chamber Facebook page that will lead to one of 25 participating businesses. These businesses will have signage up displaying they are a part of the event.” 

The businesses will be handing out discounts or prizes to individuals who participate in the 25 Days of Christmas.

“If the participants post a picture of them at the business on their (personal) Facebook or Instagram pages and tag the business of the day and the WSCC Chamber, they are entered to win a big overall prize,” Miller explained.

The 25 Days of Christmas promotion will start on Sunday, Nov. 29 and continue through Wednesday, Dec. 23.

Wentzville and Dardenne Prairie also are members or WSCC, so their residents and business also are eligible to participate.

Wentzville

Kara Roberson, Wentzville’s communications manager and public information officer, said her city is reminding everyone about the importance of “Shopping Here on Purpose.”

(Source: City of Wentzville)

Roberson offered five reasons to #ShopWentzville during the holidays:

1. Tax dollars. Keep your tax dollars working for you! The city sales tax you pay funds improvements to parks, roads and services in your city.

2. Jobs: Wentzville businesses grow and can create more jobs right here – jobs help local families!

3. Personalized service: Local businesses are owned by your neighbors and friends; they care about you and are invested in our community.

4. Unique options: Locally-owned businesses provide a wide range of product choices for everyone in the community.

5. Savings: When you shop in Wentzville – right here where you live – you’ll save.

In addition to shopping local, the Wentzville Parks and Recreation Department are encouraging area residents to find Buddy the Elf around town.

(Source: City of Wentzville)

Between Nov. 30 and Dec. 21, a life-sized Buddy will be at one of Wentzville’s parks, city buildings or businesses. Buddy will move to a new location every few days and post pictures and/or clues about his location on the Wentzville Parks and Recreation’s Facebook page.

When you find Buddy, snap a fun photo with him and send it as an email attachment to BuddyTheElf@wentzvillemo.gov.  Every family that enters will receive a prize. Plus, on Dec. 21, the parks department will award first-, second- and third-place prizes for the most creative photos with Buddy.

This contest is open to both residents and non-residents and there is no entry limit. However, all photos must be submitted by Dec. 20. All photos become the property of the city. 

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