A similar but separate 'Buy Vermont Made' Holiday Marketing Program supports holiday shopping via a promotional campaign that highlights Vermont producers and merchants.
The Buy Local Vermont Program was a pilot program for consumer stimulus funded through an allocation of the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). Launched to consumers on Tuesday, September 8, the program was designed to maximize the effect of local consumer spending, including at restaurants, retail stores, entertainment and performing arts venues, lodging, and tourism-related businesses to support businesses in Vermont that have suffered economic harm due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The Buy Local Vermont program drew an overwhelming response as soon as the program went live. Over 20,000 Vermonters activated verification codes and almost 12,000 received discount offers to support local businesses in their communities. Over 90% of the businesses that were signed up and were approved before the program launch, almost 1,000 locally owned businesses, received money from the $425,000 in discounts offered to consumers.
How It Worked
Vermonters who registered on Tuesday, September 8 starting at 11 a.m. were sent codes in the order in which they were requested. Once the codes were received, they could select discount offers from one or more local businesses on a first-come, first-served basis.
To make sure businesses in every Vermont county could benefit, funding was allocated to different regions of the state. Ensuring equity slowed down the issuing of the codes, as so many people signed up to participate at once. The program was also designed to encourage consumer spending in the hardest-hit sectors of the economy. Discount offers ranged from $10 at fast-casual eateries to up to $150 at lodging establishments.
Participating businesses each received an average of $436 each through the program. Customers have until December 31, 2021 to redeem their offers. ACCD anticipates that Vermonters will spend twice the amount of their offer when they redeem them, putting at least another $425,000 into the registers of cash-strapped businesses.
ACCD has proposed expanding #BuyLocalVermont with additional funding, which is currently being debated in the Legislature.