Nebraska City will be the place to be this holiday shopping season, thanks to some promotions created by Nebraska City Tourism and Commerce.
The shopping season will kick off Friday, Nov. 23, when two promotions get underway.
The first, “Shop the City,” offers rewards to shoppers who patronize local businesses and save their receipts.
These receipts can be redeemed for “Free Bonus Money” vouchers that can be used to bid on gift baskets at the second promotion, NCTC’s Holiday Auction, which will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, at the Fox Center Event Space, 424 Central Ave.
This event will feature live and silent auctions, along with bingo and other contests. Snacks and drinks will be available.
Businesses participating in the “Shop the City” promotion are:
Gold level: Appearances Hair and Tanning Salon, Arbor Country Cleaning and Restoration, Brown’s Shoe Fit Co., Cat’s Pause, Central Apple Market, Curl Up and Dye Salon and Spa, Hidden Jems Antique Mall, Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard, Lied Lodge and Conference Center/Timber Dining Room/Gift Shop/Library Lounge, Mercer’s Do It Best Hardware, Merritt’s Quality Cabinets, Merz Ink, Morton Place Senior Living, Nebraska City Nutrition, NCTC, Prairie City Chop House, Scooter’s Coffee, Sew Enchanting, Shelter Insurance, Taco John’s, The Golf Club at Table Creek, The Fort, Valentino’s Grand Italian Buffet, Wehling Insurance, Whispering Pines Bed and Breakfast/Restaurant, and World Auto Sales.
Silver: Arbor Mart, Buck Snort Restaurant, Casey’s General Store, Douglas Tire, El Portal Mexican Restaurant, Fareway Meat and Grocery, First Class Flowers, Fox Center Event Space, Little Ted’s Pub and Grill, Nebraska City News-Press, Orscheln Farm and Home Supply, Pizza Hut, Titan Gifts, Warehouse @ 405 Architectural Salvage, and Westlake Ace Hardware.
Look for promotional signage at participating businesses and watch the NCTC Facebook page for opportunities to win vouchers and Nebraska Lottery tickets.
NCTC came up with the “Shop the City” promotion as a fun way to reward people for shopping locally, said Dana Stovall, NCTC tourism and promotions coordinator.
“According to Independent Business Alliance, spending local lowers taxes, creates more jobs, and each dollar you spend returns 3 times more money to your local economy (almost 50 times more than an online mega-retailer) - a benefit we can all bank on,” said Stovall.
“Small businesses give more to our local charities, schools, youth teams, and events,” she said. “But they can't support our community without your patronage.  So we are encouraging local residents to Shop Local and put your money where your heart is.”
Stovall said this year’s promotion is a continuation of last year’s “Shop the City” event, in which $42,000 in receipts were redeemed at the Holiday Auction.
“This was money customers had already spent locally, so they received a dollar for every dollar spent (up to $500 per transaction) in ‘Free Bonus Money’ vouchers to bid on gift baskets donated by participating businesses,” said Stovall. “It’s a win-win for both local businesses and customers shopping locally.”
This weekend will also see Nebraska City merchants celebrating “Small Business Saturday” on Nov. 24.
The NCTC Prize Patrol will be out and about on Saturday, handing out tote bags, Nebraska Lottery tickets and “Free Bonus Money” vouchers.
Saturday’s festivities will conclude with the lighting of the Christmas tree on the Otoe County Courthouse lawn at 5 p.m.
This event will feature snacks, carols and a visit from Santa Claus.
Next weekend, Santa will be available for more visits at the Old Stone Cabin.
He will be on hand from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2.
The “Shop the City” promotion continues until Dec. 16, said Stovall.