This article appeared in the February 2017 issue of the Georgia's Cities newspaper.
(l to r) Carrollton’s Scott Balentine, Douglasville’s April McKown, Bowdon’s Brandi Shirey Director and Villa Rica’s Christopher Pike.
Residents in West Georgia are now able to “shop, save and support,” in area-downtowns much easier thanks to the West Georgia Regional Membership Program. In 2016, representatives from the cities of Bowdon, Carrollton, Douglasville and Villa Rica’s Main Street programs launched the joint discount card and membership program to encourage more local shopping.
“This is something that each of our Main Street communities were already offering, so we thought it would be a good idea to work together and expand the benefits of the cards by making them reciprocal,” said Bowdon Main Street Director Brandi Shirey.
“You could purchase your card in your downtown, and use it there, but you are also getting to enjoy the benefits of discounts when visiting neighboring cities and their downtowns. In return, the businesses who participate are reaching a much larger target market and attracting more people into their shops and restaurants. It really is a win-win for everyone,” she said.
A 2016 goal of this downtown partnership, which boasts the tagline “Always Have a Sale in Your Pocket,” was to create more unified branding and marketing materials for all four cities. Main Street representatives created a single card design, window decal and website for shoppers to view all participating merchants in the region.
“By creating this new website [www.westgamainstreet.com], we alleviate confusion on what the program is, why it benefits the West Georgia area and where patrons can use their card. We hope by adding this component to the program, we will have even more participation in 2017,” said Douglasville Main Street Manager April McKown.
“The goal is to add value to the card,” said Bowdon. “The more businesses we have participate, the more appealing it is for someone to visit and shop West Georgia downtowns and experience all that each unique downtown has to offer.”
The price of the card is the same in each city. The membership cards are $25 for a single card or $45 for two cards. Each Main Street will use funds collected to host annual city events, organize downtown clean-ups and promote small businesses.