The approach of Small Business Saturday has everyone thinking about shopping locally, but the Farmingville Hills Chamber of Commerce has been actively promoting local spending for months with the Farmingville FUNds Card.
Out of the Chamber’s 53 members, 43 are businesses; out of these 43 businesses, 22 offer some sort of discount with the FUNds Card. The card is free to anyone who wants one, and cardholders can get 5, 10, or 15 percent discounts at participating locations, depending on businesses’ preferences.
“Our main goal is to get people to shop at local businesses,” commented Chamber President Michael Wentz. “If a cardholder is deciding on a restaurant to go to, and one of the restaurants offers a discount with the FUNds Card, that might be the deciding factor.”
While this reasoning constitutes the primary goal of the FUNds Card, Wentz noted another of the Chamber’s motives for introducing the program.
“The secondary goal is to entice people to try something new,” he said. “Participating businesses range from home improvement to photography, most likely including services that people have never used before. The card encourages people to use their discount and give them a try.”
Businesses have the opportunity to sign up for the FUNds Card program when they apply for membership to the Chamber, which is a requirement for participation. However, Wentz has noted that participating businesses’ evident success has lead others to join the program later on.
The current list of participants includes Premium Technology Solutions, Inc., Cupcake Girlz and Health Today Green Tomorrow, all offering a 15 percent discount to cardholders. The larger list of businesses offering a 10 precent discount includes Freelance Photography Services, Realty Connect USA and Landscaping Unlimited among others, while businesses such as L.I. Pro Nails and JMS Custom Homes, Inc. round out the field with a 5% discount.
“By buying local, you’re helping the financial value of the community,” said Wentz. “If you have a strong, healthy financial downtown area, your home value and your property value reflect that. By putting money into the local economy, you’re helping yourself in return.”
The Chamber has continued to distribute the FUNds Card at various events throughout the year, but there are 6 participating businesses that are also serving as distribution centers. Those interested in picking up a free FUNds Card can do so at J & C 68 Restaurant, Island Fish, Rio Douro Bistro Bar & Restaurant, Sandy’s Garden Center, The Flaming Hearth and Paul’s Pizza & Pasta.
Wentz noted that the Chamber has distributed approximately 900 free cards to date, which it was able to accomplish thanks to the financial support of Allie Cat Jewelry, Shaklee Independent Distributor and JMS Custom Homes, Inc.
This year will mark the second annual Small Business Saturday, which will take place on Saturday, November 26.