Grimsby DIA offers shopping spree incentive

By Tristan Marks

Shoppers, restaurant goers and clients who frequent downtown Grimsby over the next two months may have an opportunity to leave with more money than they arrived.

Grimsby’s Downtown Improvement Area Board has put together a unique shopping spree promotion which will include a weekly $500 shopping spree to be used at any DIA business.

The first draw period will be Aug. 13 to Aug. 20.

“This is something we have set up in a way that any customer or client of any business could be a lucky winner. All anyone has to do is spend more than $25 at any DIA business to be eligible,” said DIA president Mike Williscraft.

“Someone could be paying an insurance or legal bill. They could be eligible. A couple going out for dinner or someone buying a new top or dress shirt could win. For the DIA, it is rare opportunity to include all businesses in an activity should they choose.”

The program also connects to the Canada United program, a Shop Canadian, Shop Local themed event sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Under this program, Canadians are encouraged to shop and eat locally during the Canada United Weekend from Aug. 28-30 and watch Canada United videos online at

As well, one can like posts from @GoCanadaUnited on social media and use #CanadaUnited on Twitter to demonstrate their support. For each of these actions until Aug. 31. RBC will contribute five cents up to a maximum contribution amount of $2 million to the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund, while working with government and corporate partners to source additional contributions to the fund during the course of the campaign, according to RBC’s website.

The Fund will provide small Canadian businesses with grants of up to $5,000 to cover expenses related to personal protective equipment (PPE), renovations to accommodate re-opening guidelines and developing or improving e-commerce capabilities.

“Participating businesses will submit eligible customers for the draw each week. Winners will be contacted and asked what businesses would they like gift certificates for and they can divide the $500 prize up among as many as three different businesses should they choose,” said Williscraft.

“With the prizes being run week to week, all personal information will be deleted after the week’s draw is conducted and it would never be used for any other purpose.”

This promotion comes on the heels of The Big Spend, a national one-day promotion designed to spur local economies.

“At our DIA board meeting last week, the consenus among business owners was the need to spread business out over more days of the week both to allow for better service and to ease any concerns customers may have with larger gatherings,” said Williscraft.

“With the shopping spree program running eight weeks for seven draws and people visiting downtown any day of the week to be eligible, that is a best-case scenario for us.”

Williscraft noted the DIA spans downtown from Robinson Street in the east to Kerman in the west, so anyone conducting business in that area can be eligible.

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