Introducing #HintonFirst Bucks: A Shop Local Program

We at the Chamber would like to introduce a new program designed to promote local spending called #HintonFirst Bucks.

Created:
February 24, 2021
Updated:
February 24, 2021

What is Hinton First?


Hinton First is a local movement that was started several years ago by the Hinton Regional Economic Development Coalition (HREDC) to strengthen our local economy by encouraging residents, visitors, and businesses to consider Hinton first before buying, selling, volunteering, or spending time elsewhere.

The initiative was designed to foster the development of local businesses, non-profits, and visitor experiences through a change in mentality, as well as making our community as strong as it can be for its citizens, and all those who pass through it by providing the products and services they require. It simply asks all residents to consider the local potential of our existing services and products available to them in Hinton before heading out of town to spend their money.

Introduction of #HintonFirst Bucks


The Hinton Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Town of Hinton through Economic Development are looking at creating a local shopping program to keep spending in the community through a local currency called #HintonFirst Bucks. Now more than ever we need to put our spending focus on supporting our local businesses and keep dollars spent in Hinton.


Who are these dollars for?

The idea behind #HintonFirst Bucks is that they can be purchased and used by anyone. Here are some examples:

  • Employers can use these #HintonFirst bucks on their employees for their Service Awards, seasonal bonuses or other awards of recognition.
  • Everyday citizens can use these to give as gifts to their friends and family or purchase for themselves to use at a future date to support a local business.

Often times it's difficult to know what to purchase and who to support when it comes to gift buying. This allows you to give the perfect gift - the gift of supporting local.

Why you should participate with us in this program


This program won't succeed without support from our local businesses to get on board with accepting these #HintonFirst Bucks as payment. The more businesses that we can get on board, the more people will be wanting to buy these dollars to use for themselves and as gifts to support local. Through this program you business can gain more exposure to potential new customers and members and it gives residents a chance to pride themselves on supporting local.

All participating businesses and organizations will be marketed as part of the program, and those businesses with a storefront will be provided with a window decal to show customers that you accept #HintonFirst Bucks at your location.

Okay, you've convinced me to participate, what do I do now?


If your business is interested in being a part of the #HintonFirst Bucks program please reach out to the Chamber by phoning 780.865.2777 or emailing natalie.charlton@hintonchamber.com.

Once we get your information we'll set up a visit in person to deliver a package including any materials you need, talk with you about any potential questions or concerns, and show you a sample of what the #HintonFirst Bucks will look like.

FAQ For Businesses


We've listed some questions you may have about how this program will work and our answers on how to go about implementing it.

  • How would I accept these #HintonFirst Bucks?

Accept the bills like you would cash. This may include giving the customer back change in cash. We will be printing denominations of $10, $20, $50, and $100.

  • How will I be reimbursed for accepting the #HintonFirst Bucks?

Once you have accumulated some #HintonFirst Bucks you can contact the Hinton Chamber for reimbursement. We will work with your business to verify the denominations and then either send you an e-transfer or issue a cheque for payment. You can decide how often you'd like to be reimbursed (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly).

  • Will my business be listed on a website as a participant in this program?

Yes, we will be planning to create a landing page online that promotes the initiative and a list of all our participating merchants and organizations that accept #HintonFirst Bucks. There will also be digital and print marketing efforts put into promoting the local program and showcasing our participating vendors.

  • What if someone tries to use a $100 #HintonFirst bill to pay for a $5 item?

We understand that many businesses don't carry a large cash float so part of the communication that will be shared when someone purchases our #HintonFirst bills will be that the maximum change allowed back on a purchase will be limited to $20. If there are any issues between the customer and merchant, the customer can reach out to the Chamber and get their large denomination into smaller amounts.

  • What if my business doesn't have a storefront, can I still participate in this program?

Yes, anyone that accepts payment for a service or product is invited to participate in this program. We'd like to get as many businesses as possible on board with accepting #HintonFirst Bucks. This may even extend to some of our local non-profit organizations that accept memberships or other services. We may need to make some exceptions for approval in the program so if you are unsure please reach out.

  • Who is creating these #HintonFirst Bucks?

We are working with a local supplier to procure these secure, numbered bills for circulation. It will be important for you and your staff to be familiar with the look and feel of these bills as we want to make this as secure as possible to avoid fraudulency. Once you accept this tender and communicate with the Chamber for payment, we will ask that you destroy or void the bills so they don't get recirculated.

  • Is this a one time event or an ongoing initiative?

This will be an ongoing initiative - the more opportunities we have to keep dollars in the community the better. We may be having special #HintonFirst events and promotions throughout the year but the intention is for the program to run year round.

  • Who do I reach out to if I have any additional questions?

If you need any more information please reach out to the Chamber of Commerce by calling 780.865.2777 or emailing Natalie Charlton, Executive Director at natalie.charlton@hintonchamber.com.

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