east hartford shops

Shopping Local: East Hartford Sponsors Contest to Boost Small Businesses

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With local shops in mind, East Hartford has started a contest that aims to support businesses and give customers a chance to win too.

“Seeing a lot of businesses shutting down locally, it scares me,” said Gino’s Original Pizzeria owner Corrine Robar.

Gino’s Original Pizzeria in East Hartford opened last year. Robar says while the pandemic has made it a stressful year, she’s grateful for the community’s support.

“I just want to thank everyone for supporting local businesses, small businesses especially because mom and pop shops like myself, it’s hard,” said Robar.

To encourage even more people to shop local, East Hartford Development Director Eileen Buckheit created East Hartford Shops. Beginning this week, customers who spend at least $10 at an East Hartford retailer or restaurant can submit their receipt for a chance to win a $50 gift card to a local business of their choice.

“We’re trying to support our local businesses during this really difficult pandemic, trying to get them through the holiday season,” said Buckheit.

Buckheit says so many local businesses have supported the community throughout the years that it’s important the community supports them now.

“These people are your neighbors, and they employ your neighbors. And they are community partners,” said Buckheit.

The contest runs for four weeks with three winners per week, and the purchase must be made during the week of a participant’s entry. There will be a total of 12 winners. Participants can enter once a week but can only win once. The town says winners will be chosen weekly on Mondays at noon on Facebook Live which will be streamed from the Town of East Hartford Facebook page. The town is funding it.

“I think it’s incredible. To see the town come and offer support to the local businesses is really uplifting,” said Music & Arts store manager Kyle Tripp.

Tripp says at Music & Arts in East Hartford they have a local rental program and private music lessons that professionals from the area teach. He says anything purchased at the store counts towards the $10 requirement for entry into the town’s contest.

The contest is welcome news for him and many others who say it’s great to see the town reaching out.

“It feels like we’ve got a lot of support, and it’s nice to feel,” said Tripp.

For more information about the contest, click here.

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