Tuesday, July 22, 2008

10% off Everything

maybe this would work?? i got this in an email, and have been sending it to local businesses.
Pass it on to some of the shops you like!

This is a way of supporting local business, bicycle commuting, and the environment. It allows local businesses to offer patrons, who traveled by bike to the store/shop, a discount on all goods and services. The amount of the discount (in the range of 5%-15%) is for the business to decide.

This proposition will not be posed to non-local business

Advantages include:

Increased business/sales.
More customers/clientele
Publicly supporting alternative transportation
Being networked with many other Charlottesville businesses who participate.

To get started, decide how much of a discount you will offer. Then start giving that discount to people who have a helmet in hand, bike with them, or obviously look like they are riding a bike. After people know about the discount you offer, they may inform you that they rode in by bike. You may choose to advertise your discount and or involvement. Choosing to put the bicycle wheel “logo” on you door, window, register, or somewhere else, will be a good way to inform patrons easily (logo should be attached in the email). Feel free to use it in other form of advertising, or alter it, there is no copyright or regulation.

You may decide to be strongly active in this or just a little active, is completely up to you.

Nobody will be “in charge” of this movement. It is simply an idea thrown out there, and it’s free to become whatever Charlottesville makes it. So, feel free to put any twist on it that you see fit.

This idea was thought up by a few local commuters who work at local businesses. Please help advocate bike commuting and local business by participating and spreading the word. You may pass this along to other businesses.


Jigsaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jigsaw said...

"This proposition will not be posed to non-local business."

Let me just state for the record that I am both pro-bicycle and pro-local business. I try my hardest to use my bike whenever possible instead of driving, and to shop at local stores whenever feasible.

That said, the "shop local" and "bike don't drive" movements are really two separate issues, despite having a huge overlap in supporters. Yes, most of the folks already riding will probably also be prone to shop local, and vice-versa. But this doesn't mean even those folks couldn't benefit from as many discount locations as possible. And as a tool to promote bike commuting to those not already considering it, showing them a vast array of discounts to stores, both local and non-local, would be more effective.

I definitely understand the desire to reward people for shopping locally. (My thought on that is generally that you get better service, a more unique and appropriate selection, and keep money circulating in the community, so the reward for shopping local is a better city, but I doubt anyone reading this would disagree.) I doubt that making a program that rewards you for shopping locally - but only if you ride a bike or walk - will get a significant number of new people shopping locally.

Granted, the likelihood is that only local shops would even want to participate. I think the plan would be -effectively- the same, without the self-imposed local-only rule. But the semantic difference is fairly significant. To those who might be lured into a bicycle-centric lifestyle by the promise of discounts, they just want to hear "Discounts at these stores, more added all the time!" They don't want to hear, "Discounts at all these stores you don't shop at, but you should shop at them, because they're better."

I'm not being terribly clear or concise, and I apologize for that. Really what it comes down to is that you're trying to do something positive, offering discounts to people who leave the car at home. There are plenty of people who this idea might appeal to who don't know about shopping locally, and would actually get offended if, on top of telling them they should ride a bike, you ALSO told them to stop shopping at their favorite chain stores in favor of places they've never been.

One step at a time. Get them on the bike, then let them discover where it's easiest for them to ride safely. Eventually they'll likely discover that most of those stores are the local ones.

But hey, that's just my opinion. Overall, I think it's a really neat idea.


-kyle rodland- said...

that's an interesting view. i believe the "This proposition will not be posed to non-local business." was put in there just to get the ball rolling with are businesses. it does say that the movement can become whatever anybody wants it to be, so even though it says that it won't be posed to non-local businesses, i interpreted to say that, that could be changed.

i also don't think that cyclist will not feel like they are being told to shop at a specific store. i would hope that the cyclist would ask or inform their favorite shops about the movement, and hopefully they would follow suit. it's not like commuters are being penalized for shopping at a non participating shop, theey're simply being rewarded and shown gratitude by businesses that do participate.

i don't think it's ment to be selective, i think we can all agree that we would love every place we shop to offer a discount. and i don;t think that the first step is to get people on bikes. i think what would get this think going is for businesses to just start offering a discount, then the word would spread by mouth. and then just see what happens. it's not like there is anything at risk.