Flower basket outside the Willow Street Cafe. (Photo by Krystal Adams)

Flower basket outside the Willow Street Cafe. (Photo by Krystal Adams)

Passport program in support of local business extended to July 16

Beautification of town enhanced at the same time with hanging flower baskets

The Chemainus Business Improvement Association has extended its passport promotion that was supposed to end June 16 by one month to July 16.

A series of visual ads showing all of the great finds from each of the local businesses in town is being published in the Courier, topped off with a passport where a $250 shopping spree to any of the stores in the membership area is being offered as a grand prize. A secondary runner-up prize of $100 has been added.

“The idea was that we wanted to reward those buying local often as a bit of a thank you for shopping in town,” noted CBIA executive director Krystal Adams in detailing the promotion. “The idea is simple, when you spend $10 or more you earn a sticker. After the sixth spot on the passport is filled with these stickers, you simply return it to whatever retailer is participating, acting as your entry. This is very similar to the program we have in the winter around the holidays. We wanted to run it again now because we deeply appreciate how much support the community has given to the local businesses and we wanted to give something back.

“People love this program, and the retailers enjoy doing this for people, so we made the very easy decision to push this forward for another month and make sure everyone, as they feel comfortable, can come out and participate,” she added. “If you buy a coffee and a goodie you get a stamp, a dress you have had your eye on a stamp, if you feel like eating out a stamp. They start to add up very quickly. We see people with two, even three cards which are all individual entries giving them multiple chances.”

There is a true sense of thanks within the promotion as even the stickers read ‘Thank you for supporting my small business,’ a nod to the appreciation felt by all.

Aside from the passport, the Neighbourhood Good campaign is showcasing finds in the local business area and encourages everyone to support businesses through positive reviews and word of mouth. The Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce is happily standing behind the CBIA program and helping showcase local businesses. The two organizations working together are a real benefit to the community and they’re asking everyone to start sharing their positive experiences online and tagging them on Facebook to accentuate the greatness of Chemainus.

You will see shops around town with Neighbourhood Good participant signs.

Meanwhile, summer hasn’t officially started yet, but beautiful flower baskets are hanging around town as of June 1. The CBIA is tasked annually with making this happen by identifying, organizing and orchestrating the entire process, including the maintenance that extends to November and ensures Chemainus is beautiful and full of life for residents and to welcome guests and visitors.

“We just love the immediate lift this program gives the town in just one day,” said Adams. “And the best part is, when we hang the baskets even though they are already beautiful there is something really wonderful in knowing they are just going to proliferate and that we haven’t seen the best of them yet.”

The CBIA collects funds from businesses in the area via taxation to support marketing, advocacy, consultation and beautification initiatives, among many others. The municipality enhances the program with an additional amount to cover a portion of the costs.

Typically for other communities, the municipality would manage the entire program, but Chemainus is different in that sense. “We are lucky to garner funding for this and to enhance what business owners would otherwise have to pay for themselves in communities devoid of these programs,” added Adams. “We are thankful to see this support continue annually.”

This program is truly all sunshine and blossoms, but there is always a downside and thankfully basket theft has been overcome. In previous years, baskets were being taken from business fronts and broken down for peoples’ gardens or to resell, but the CBIA has put a stop to this in an inventive way for the past three years.

“We can’t disclose the exact tactic we take, but we can say that through modern day means we are able to track baskets that go missing and identify where they have gone,” noted Adams.

This is good news for businesses, meaning baskets remain full of life to brighten the community as intended. “We simply add to the beauty of the town and the hard work done by the Communities in Bloom already, while also taking on some baskets of their own around town,” pointed out Adams.

The Communities in Bloom team is responsible for the baskets through Waterwheel Park, at the marina and Kin Beach Park. Members also spend the entire day the baskets are unloaded watching over them as crews work around town.

“They are a set of wonderful volunteers that make this town bloom,” said Adams. “They have always been a joy to work with and the work they provide is simply stunning. People are always commenting on the flowers around town and asking about the organization. Communities in Bloom is always looking for additional volunteers to help continue work on their beautiful gardens.”

With so many beautiful additions to Chemainus from both organizations it is clearly all stemming from town pride, appreciation and a lot of hard work.



Baskets filled with colourful flowers brighten the entrance to the Chemainus Public Market. (Photo by Krystal Adams)

Baskets filled with colourful flowers brighten the entrance to the Chemainus Public Market. (Photo by Krystal Adams)

Baskets line the buildings along Willow Street. (Photo by Krystal Adams)

Baskets line the buildings along Willow Street. (Photo by Krystal Adams)

Passport among the beautiful items for sale within Bound Io Be Different on Chemainus Road. (Photo by Krystal Adams)

Passport among the beautiful items for sale within Bound Io Be Different on Chemainus Road. (Photo by Krystal Adams)

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