By: Sarah Mitschke | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: June 2007
Owasso Chamber of Commerce President Gary Akin displays a roll of tickets that will be used by merchants and customers in this year’s Christmas in July event.
The Christmas in July event is held every year in Owasso to promote shopping during the summertime, a time of the year when companies may experience less business than usual. Owasso Chamber of Commerce President Gary Akin says, “There’s a general understanding that when school is out and people are on vacation, sales drop.” Businesses are now being invited to participate in the city-wide event.
The event was originally held during the Christmas shopping season, however, many merchants felt too busy with the rush of the holidays to implement the program. The event was later changed to take place in July. Akin says, “We decided to turn it into a community-wide campaign to build and stimulate sales in July.” With over 70 businesses participating last year, many merchants are eager to participate and look forward to the extra business.
Participating businesses are promoted through several publications prior to the event. Direct mail pieces and newspaper advertisements, both including master lists of the participating businesses, will be distributed to Owasso residences later this month.
Christmas in July is a simple and successful way for businesses to gain publicity and patrons. Each merchant is provided double-stubbed tickets to distribute to customers throughout the event. Generally, customers receive one ticket for every $10 spent at participating merchants, and each ticket’s double is put into a drawing box. In businesses like fast food restaurants where many purchases are less than $10, patrons will receive one ticket for each transaction. A drawing will be held Saturday, July 28, at the Owasso High School gymnasium, where one lucky shopper will win the grand prize of $5,000. While little effort is required of participating businesses, results are tremendous. Merchants will have increased business publicity and often an increased sales volume.
Any Owasso business can register to participate in Christmas in July. The event is not exclusive to retailers; professional businesses, restaurants, automotive companies and banks are all encouraged to sign up. The cost for businesses to participate is $250 and includes signs for doors and windows, rolls of tickets and ballot boxes for tickets. Call the Owasso Chamber of Commerce by June 22 at (918) 272-2141 for registration. Registration is also available online at www.owassochamber.com.