In attempt to boost economic growth in Maricopa, the city’s Economic Development team is again initiating its city-wide Bingo game to encourage Maricopa residents to spend more money locally.
In a presentation to council Tuesday, Economic Development specialist Mary Wolf-Francis said the importance of shopping local is multifaceted.
By shopping local, she said, it supports the local economy, builds a strong community and encourages entrepreneurship.
Perhaps most importantly, she said, by spending money at a hardware store or restaurant in Maricopa, the increase in city and county tax revenue directly benefits the residents of Maricopa. Equally, the income itself then turns around and can be spent at other local shops and restaurants, further bolstering job creation and economic growth.
“As those businesses grow and thrive,” Wolf-Francis said, “they are going to hire more local talent, and create more wealth in the city.”
One of the biggest problems in Maricopa, economically speaking, is the competition from businesses elsewhere in the valley. In a recent community survey, Wolf-Francis said, Maricopa residents do more of their retail shopping in Chandler than in Maricopa.
And it’s not just about shopping locally, but shopping at locally-owned businesses, she said.
Citing a national study from Local First Arizona, Wolf-Francis said for every $100 spent at a locally-owned business, $27 leaves the community. Whereas with a business which is not locally owned, $57 dollars leaves the community.
With national retailers, the number jumps to almost $86 dollars leaving the community. For Maricopa, she said, that leakage has reached a total of nearly $369 million for the 2017 fiscal year.
With over 900 businesses in Maricopa, Wolf-Francis said, residents shouldn’t have a tough time finding the things they need in Maricopa.
The game, which started Oct. 4, runs until Dec. 27, and is simple to participate in. Shop at local vendors across 24 industries and get your card stamped to become eligible for prizes.
A single line of five stamps is one entry. A “Black Out” counts as five entries and puts you in the running for the “Black Out” prize.
Drawings occur every week and include gifts and gift cards of at least a $50 value from local businesses. On the last day of the game, a grand prize valued at $250 will be given away, along with the “Black Out” prize that has not yet been determined.
“The icons on the card are industry icons, not specific businesses,” Wolf-Francis said. “So, there’s a little bit of flexibility in how we’re able to get people to get their stamps.”
Bingo cards can be picked up or dropped off at Copper Sky, Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship, Maricopa Chamber of Commerce, City Hall, Central Arizona College, Maricopa High School, Province and the Maricopa Public Library.
For more information on participating vendors, or to download a Copa Bingo card, check out the Copa Bingo website.