January 2007

Our Neighbors, Our Friends, Our Town

Author: Melinda Copp

During the holiday season, we all hear about supporting small businesses by shopping local. But once the holidays pass, the subject tends to get dropped, and many of us forget about the importance of keeping money in the local economy. In reality, shopping local every day benefits your neighbors, friends and everyone in the community.

“Shopping locally all year round is important because it supports all members of the community,” said Rebecca Ross, Membership Director for Celebrate Hilton Head’s Diamond Club. The benefits are two-fold, she explained. “Local businesses support local charities and put money back into the community; and you get better service because the person behind the counter owns the place and really cares about making you happy.”

Irene Gonzalez, owner of Groomingdale’s Pet Boutique

Since 1996, the Diamond Club has given its members incentives for shopping locally by offering discounts at over 140 area businesses. For a $29 annual membership fee, you can save money with real estate agents, mortgage lenders and roofers, to name a few. You can also save on tanning sessions, gym memberships, golfing, kayaking, shopping, dining and more. In addition to these great discounts, you get a $25 dining gift certificate on your birthday and another $25 gift certificate for dining on a special occasion, such as an anniversary. That’s $50 worth of free dining just for signing up, without ever using your card. Plus, you’re automatically entered in the Diamond Club monthly award drawings for chances to win gift certificates from participating business partners—over $20,000 worth of giveaways every month.

You might have a wallet full of discount cards good at a few places that you use only once or twice a month. But your Celebrate Hilton Head Diamond Club card saves you money on the services you use every day.

If it’s your turn to bring breakfast to work, you can get a free donut with your purchase from the Flamingo House of Doughnuts or 10 percent off at Woody’s Darn Good Bagels. Get 10 percent off your dry cleaning bill at Great American Cleaners and 10 percent off DHL or FedEx shipments at the Island Postal Center. Spend your lunch break running errands and get $5 off a gold wash at Island Car Wash, 10 percent off photo processing at Island Digital Photo and a complimentary insurance evaluation from Kinghorn Insurance.

In addition to all these membership perks, you get a one-year subscription to “Celebrate Hilton Head” magazine. This local publication includes information about all the places where you can use your card as well as informative and entertaining articles on local events and activities. Each issue has a page which lists all the businesses that give special discounts to Diamond Club cardholders. Tear this page out each month and carry it with you in your wallet so you’ll always know where to find the best deals. You can also get the list online at www.celebratehiltonhead.com.

Rocket Rossman, owner of Woody’s Darn Good Bagels & Subs

Cardholders can also take advantage of the Diamond Club’s new savings contest. Each month, save your receipts every time you use your Diamond Club card and then send them in for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate from the business partner of your choice. If you’re the member who saved the most, you win, and you’ll be featured in a future issue of “Celebrate Hilton Head” magazine.

Supporting local businesses is important for the health of the Hilton Head community. You may pay a little more for some things than you would at a corporate chain, but you’ll get better service and you’ll be giving something back. Add up the savings you get with your Diamond Club card, and you can’t go wrong shopping local.

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