ROGERS -- Downtown businesses hope to make shoppers shout "Bingo" this holiday season.
Go Downtown Rogers has announced the return of the Downtown Rogers Bingo Card program, in which shoppers supporting downtown businesses have a chance to win a gift basket worth more than $400.
People can pick up a Bingo card while shopping at any participating business from Saturday through Dec. 4. While shopping at participating businesses, people can have their cards stamped. Those who get five or more squares stamped can return the cards to Underbrush Books at 103 W. Walnut St. by 7 p.m. Dec. 4 for a chance to win the gift basket.
More than 20 businesses are participating. The prize drawing will be held online Dec. 7.
Visit https://tinyurl.com/2da3cd94 for a list of participating businesses.
The bingo project began last year and was organized by volunteers from downtown Rogers businesses, said Karen Wagaman, vice president of downtown development at the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce. The program provides a fun incentive for people to shop downtown during the holiday shopping season, Wagaman said.
This Saturday is known as Small Business Saturday, which is also sometimes called Shop Small Saturday. American Express founded the event in 2010, and the U.S. Small Business Administration became a cosponsor in 2011, according to the administration's website.
"This is one of many initiatives we highlight to attract people while showcasing downtown Rogers as a destination location for entertainment, dining, shopping, arts and culture," Wagaman said. "Of course, small businesses need the continued support of shoppers and patrons throughout the year, not just one day a year. And Shop Small Saturday provides a platform to remind shoppers of their importance to locally owned businesses."
"Downtown Rogers businesses offer dozens of events to put people in the holiday spirit. November and December are important months to the financial success of small businesses. Offering fun, community minded reasons to shop are an important way to attract new and returning shoppers," Wagaman said.
Because the national Shop Small Saturday program is broadly recognized, the Saturday after Thanksgiving -- the day after Black Friday -- is an ideal time to highlight opportunities to shop local in downtown Rogers, Wagaman said. The support of several small, locally owned businesses helps spread the word throughout the community, she said.
Ryan Davenport, a sales associate with Copper Crown at 111 N. Second St., said there's a novelty about the Bingo Card program.
"People get jazzed about winning something," Davenport said. "It adds a little mystique to it."
Copper Crown, an antique store, is usually busy on Saturdays because of the increased foot traffic downtown, Davenport said. With a special event such as the Bingo Card program, Davenport said things could be even busier.
Java Dudes Coffee Co. at 718 N. Second St., Suite 104 also is participating in the program.
Manager Jake Noren said something like the Bingo Card program at a minimum brings awareness to small downtown businesses. Many small businesses don't have a marketing budget and rely on word of mouth and a good reputation.
The vibe in downtown Rogers is one of authenticity, Noren said.
"It has a small-town feel," Noren said. "It is very welcoming."
In 2022, the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce took over operation of the Go Downtown Rogers brand, combining it with the programming of DTR Inc. Promoting downtown Rogers events and programming, the goal of the division is to create third space options, according to the Go Downtown Rogers website.