Gardiner, ME – For every $100 spent at a locally owned, independent retailer or restaurant, an average of $45 stays in the community, compared with only $14 for the same $100 spent at a national chain, according to the Institute for Self-Reliance in a study done in Midcoast Maine in 2003. This holiday season, Gardiner Main Street is making it a little easier for support local businesses by giving “The Gift of Gardiner”. At least thirty local merchants have agreed to accept this meaningful gift in its inaugural year.
“Our independent merchants are excited to welcome new customers to their businesses for quality merchandise, service, and expertise – to earn their business throughout the rest of the year,” says Patrick Wright, executive director of the Gardiner Main Street program. Gift checks are available from tellers at The Bank of Maine’s Gardiner branch, located at 190 Water Street beginning Monday, December 12th. The gift checks are worth $20, and come with a list of participating merchants. “We jumped at the opportunity to be included in the program, which gives us great exposure to new customers, as well as those who shop here every week,” says Kara Wilbur, owner of Sweet Love Bridal Boutique, Café, and Bakery.
Downtown Gardiner has successfully attracted new businesses to the community in the past several months, most recently with the opening of SaraSara’s, a fashionable womens’ apparel boutique that chose to locate its third storefront in Gardiner. Owner Sara Leighton adds, “This program is an example of the care Gardiner Main Street is taking to encourage the growth of business downtown, which is one of the reasons we wanted to be in Gardiner.”
Gardiner Main Street is marketing this program directly to the largest employers in Gardiner, encouraging them to consider The Gift of Gardiner as a holiday gift to employees. The Bank of Maine is supporting the program by administering sales at no cost to Gardiner Main Street or local merchants.
Wright continues, “We think we’ve created a program that helps people feel really good about the gifts they give their friends and family. Downtown is the cultural and commercial hub of this community. In order to maintain vibrancy, the community needs to support the businesses located here. Now there’s an easy, flexible way to do that.”
“The Gift of Gardiner” is available throughout the year.
Please note that the gift check is valid for one year from date of issue. After one year, the check will become a donation to help Gardiner Main Street complete its charitable mission.
The following businesses will accept “The Gift of Gardiner”
|Alex Parker’s Steakhouse|
|Berry & Berry Floral|
|Circling the Square Fine Arts Press|
|Curves of Gardiner|
|Family Dollar Store|
|Gardiner Family Chiropractic|
|Gardiner Farmers Market|
|Gardiner Feed & Garden Center|
|Gardiner Trading Post|
|Johnson Hall Performing Arts Center|
|Kennebec Local Food Initiative|
|Kennebec River Glass Works|
|Kennebec Tailoring & Mending|
|Lisa’s Legit Burritos|
|Serendipity Hair Salon|
|Spruce It Up Services|
|The Depot Pub|
|The Therapy Zone|
|The Village Jeweler|
|Tiger Town Redemption|
|Tre Level Salon|
|Vintage Wine Bar|