Louisa Gives Back in a BIG WAY!
Well before COVID-19 was ever on the radar for Louisa, the Chamber of Commerce was working with Eddie Brown (Giving Words), Kristin Hicks (Nourish Louisa & Dapper Cat Coffee) and Greg Dorazio (Dorazio Communications) to develop a plan to help small business increase traffic and revenue by collaborating with non-profit organizations.
Tracy Clark, Executive Director of the Louisa County Chamber of Commerce recommended a 12-week strategy to support one non-profit each week with several businesses donating a percentage of sales back to that organization. Consumers that made a purchase or multiple purchases each Saturday would be eligible for a weekly $100 drawing and a grand prize drawing of $1,000 at the Louisa Street Festival scheduled for June 13, 2020.
Two weeks before the program was to launch, the world and the way we do business changed forever.
With the forced closures of so many businesses and the stay-at-home orders, many businesses were suffering. The Chamber quickly contacted other leaders in the community including the County, the Town of Louisa, the Town of Mineral and the Lake Anna Business Partnership to unify behind several initiatives including Louisa Gives Back.
“The Chamber is here to assist any business during this unusually difficult time,” states Tracy Hale Clark, Executive Director, “as a unified community we can overcome any challenge.”
Louisa Gives Back was originally designed to drive foot traffic for Chamber member businesses and was adjusted to an online store to assist any business in Louisa. To participate, businesses had to agree to donate between 5%-15% of proceeds from the 10-day online gift certificate sales to a Louisa County non-profit organization of their choice. Non-profit organizations agreed to promote their business partners and the community was encouraged to purchase gift certificates enabling them to give back to the businesses, the non-profit and themselves with a chance to win $500.
The response was overwhelming. Forty businesses participated with just under $20,000 in sales through the gift certificates. Donations back to the non-profit organizations will occur throughout the month of May with several businesses exceeding the 15% contribution.
“Thank you to the Louisa County Chamber of Commerce for the creation and implementation of such an innovative mechanism to partner with area non-profits and encourage community support during a difficult time!” said Kristin Hicks, of Nourish Louisa.
Contributing partners Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, County of Louisa, Commonwealth Life & Legacy Council, Fifty-Third Winery, Lake Anna Linens and Walmart DC #7016 provided the prize money for two $500 awards to consumers and two $500 awards to local participating businesses.
Louisa resident Carolyn Jondahl and Supervisor Eric Purcell were the consumer recipients. Nourish Louisa received $500 as the business with the most referrals during the campaign and Lake Anna Tractor & Hardware was the random business drawing winner.
“[This was a] great campaign for Louisa and the causes they support. Glad to be a part of it,” said Dave Drillock, of Fifty-Third Winery.
The Chamber has also been negatively impacted during this time. The Louisa Street Festival, its largest event, has been postponed and the Businessperson of the Year dinner has been moved to June 25. Despite these changes, the Chamber continues to offer support, initiatives, and resources to serve Louisa County businesses and community.
For information or assistance, please visit LouisaChamber.org or SupportLouisa.com.