HOW SHOP HARNEY KEPT OVER $150,125 LOCAL AND SUPPORTED SMALL BUSINESSES
"It's a great asset to our community by keeping money local and supporting our small businesses."
-Annie of Annie's Bakery
Shop Harney Impact!
Gift Cards Purchased
Gift Cards Sold
Why Create a Community Gift Card Program?
2020 presented unprecedented challenges for small businesses everywhere and rural communities were particularly hard hit
While many rural small businesses were still rebounding from the Great Recession and preexisting vulnerabilities including access to broadband and adequate capital, Harney County is benefiting from a sustained initiative to support local microenterprises, the BizHarney Opportunity Collaborative.
Formed in 2017, the collaborative exists to "help rural Harney County businesses start, grow, and succeed while also helping to build a thriving business environment."
Beyond low-interest loans and grant funding to make payroll, pay rents and leases, and "keep the lights on," Harney County businesses needed more assistance for both the short and long term.
Keeping cash local and going to small businesses was a priority. Ensuring customers were aware businesses were open and able to deliver goods and services another. Getting online, a challenging endeavor in good times, was critical for struggling retailers, restaurants, and service businesses.
From these challenges an idea took shape and a strategy embarked upon. Building on the already existing relationships and partnerships BizHarney has facilitated, local businesses, nonprofit organizations, economic development groups, and involved citizens collaborated and cooperated to launch Shop Harney. Previously established trust helped break down any resistance and a collective imperative to take action took hold.
HOW THIS LOCAL GIFT CARD SOLUTION UNITED THIS RURAL OREGON COUNTY TO SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES
FINDING THE BEST TOOL
Yiftee offered a community gift card platform that was both powerful and easy to execute.
The Yiffee eGift Card service keeps local dollars local with simple Community eGift Cards. Their platform supports over 55,000 local businesses and removed many barriers to rolling out a county-wide effort like Shop Harney.
PUTTING TOGETHER A TEAM
A group of Harney County residents saw an opportunity to keep their Holiday money local.
Shop Harney is a collaborative effort between The Foundry Collective, SBDC Oregon, BizHarney Opportunity Collaborative, Harney County's Chamber of Commerce, Greatness Digital, Branded in Ink, and Sage DesignWorks. The need for local support for our businesses during these always changing and challenging times drove a search for the best community directed gift card program. Each card purchased would keep local dollars from being spent outside the county, while also highlighting some of the wonderful businesses Harney County has to offer.
PROMOTING THE CARD
Over $6500 of online advertising was spent in the first holiday season to increase local awareness and support participating small businesses.
In 2020, Greatness Digital launched an extensive online promotional effort supported by a $2500 grant from The Ford Family Foundation and $4000 provided by Google for online advertising.
Sage DesignWorks created graphics, set up social media channels including Facebook and Instagram, and published 90+ organic posts promoting Shop Harney, participating businesses, and contest winners as well as created the Official Shop Harney Landing Page.
Branded in Ink provided 40 businesses with product photography to showcase the wide variety of merchants accepting Shop Harney Cards.
Local businesses, municipalities, and others helped support the effort.
The cities of Burns and Hines were the first sponsors and made buying a Shop Harney card fee free.
Harney County Senior and Community Services Center donated for the first promotion, buy a $50 card, receive a $20 card for free. This offer was available to the first twenty $50 cards purchased.
Friends of the Malheur donated to keep Shop Harney Cards fee free, and Burns Times Herald offered a discount for Shop Harney ads.
Shop Harney Facebook Stats
Average Engagement per Post
Page Reach Nov 2020-Feb 2021
What Local Businesses are Saying
NAPA Auto Parts Owner and Operator
"I love the idea of promoting local shopping by having convenient gift cards that local merchants can easily accept like any other card. So far only a few cards have been redeemed at my business, but as word gets out I'm sure that these will be a great way to bring local consumers to local businesses."
Gourmet & Gadgets
I think the Shop Harney card really promoted shopping local. In addition to my repeat customers, I saw many new faces and was excited to expand my clientele. I also noticed that the Shop Harney Program did not decrease sales of Gourmet & Gadgets gift certificates. Rather, it complimented them.
Symmetry Care Inc.
"As an essential business, Symmetry Care remained open last year, providing Mental Health, Addictions, and Wellness services. Seeing other businesses shut down was difficult. We wanted to help out our local businesses. For a few months, we bought our staff lunch from different local restaurants weekly. Every year in December, we purchase gifts and volunteer for a community service project during our staff party. Last year, we purchased Amazon Gift Cards for staff. This year, Shop Harney made it easy for us to continue supporting local businesses. Our staff love their Shop Harney Cards and all of the options they offer. We look forward to purchasing Shop Harney Cards throughout the year for company incentives.."
ShopHarney.com Google Stats
Interactions on Google Ads
Engagements and Clicks
Page Reach Views
What Customers are saying
"I sent one to all my family"
Brenda Smith- High Desert Partnership Director: "Shop Harney was easy gift giving in a hard year. I sent one to all my family members, because they can use it when they visit or they can make online purchases. I will keep using the Shop Harney option for my gift giving all year long, it is important to me to support our local businesses."
"Shop Harney rocks!"
Wendy Bull - Substitute Teacher for Harney School District for 25 years- "There's nothing like convenience and being able to support our community. They make great gifts, Shop Harney rocks! I've bought them for a few people so far, and they've been a huge hit."
"It makes shopping local hassle free!"
Mandy Stevens- Harney County Chamber of Commerce Front Desk. "It makes shopping local hassle free! I love that you don't have to struggle with choosing what gift card to buy. Easy gift giving, and it also supports all of our small businesses. I'm going to buy them for everyone this year."
"I love that we're supporting Harney County"
Marla Polenz- Communications Coordinator High Desert Partnership- Deschutes County resident- "My family purchased a Shop Harney card for a dear friend and it was the perfect Christmas gift. She can find something she really enjoys and I love that we're supporting Harney County small business."
"As a former business owner, I understand how tough January, February and March can be--especially after 2020!! I feel the Shop Harney campaign is a creative tool that will help our businesses though these months. I'm grateful for the collaboration in our community to bring the Shop Harney program forward. I'm also very grateful to the many people and businesses that have purchased cards to support local shopping. We are Harney County strong and support each other."
Pete Runnels- Harney County Judge
Here's what locals have to say:
Check out this short video about the impact Shop Harney has had on the local community. Hear from business owners, local government officials, and community members about the positive changes they've seen since starting the Shop Harney program.
BUY YOUR OWN SHOP HARNEY CARD
You don't have to live in Harney County to buy a card and support rural businesses. Several participants offer online purchases.