By SUSAN MARSHALL
Peabody Main Street Association and local businesses have funded this year’s annual holiday Shopping Spree with $950 in Peabody Bucks, to be shared by four lucky winners.
“First prize will be $500, second $250, and third $100,” PMSA director Shane Marler said. “And the ‘loser’s bracket,’ drawn from tickets that were not completely filled out, also will have a $100 prize.”
The holiday promotion will start this weekend — national Small Business Saturday — and continue until Dec. 21.
Participating businesses will have tickets to hand out to customers shopping in their stores. Each ticket will have five spots for a business owner to stamp or punch if the customer spends $10 in that business.
A ticket will be successfully filled when all five spots have been marked, indicating a purchase at five different businesses. Spending larger amounts with a single business will still earn the customer stamps or punches in $10 increments, but a merchant may only leave his mark once on each ticket.
“The idea, of course, is to encourage residents to shop locally during the holiday season,” Marler said. “By counting the tickets when the Shopping Spree is over, we can get an idea of the economic impact Peabody people have when they shop at home.
“That is also why we offer a prize in what we call the loser’s bracket,” he said. “People usually have a few tickets that are not completed when we draw the winners. But we are interested in knowing the economic impact of all the tickets, so we have a drawing of the incomplete tickets after Christmas because they also represent local shopping dollars.”
The drawing for the loser’s bracket will be Dec. 28.
When a ticket is filled, the holder must take it to the city building and deposit it into a box the city staff will have in the front office.
“And shoppers should be sure to fill out the back of the ticket with their name and contact information,” Marler added. “We feel pretty bad when we draw a winner’s ticket out and validate the stamps or punches, only to find that we don’t know the name of the winner. And that has happened a time or two!”
The drawings will take place at 2 p.m. in the council room of the city building on the designated days and winners will be contacted immediately.