chamber logo

Passport to Christmas does well despite pandemic

In the midst of a pandemic when a lot of businesses were either closed or at limited capacity, Ponoka residents still shopped local, supporting local businesses during the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce’s Passport to Christmas.

A total of $1,278,300 was spent locally by passport users from Nov. 12 to Dec. 26. Of the total, 325 passport shoppers were from out of town (accounting for $97,500) and 3,936 were from in town ($1,180,800).

Those numbers compare to $2.8 million in sales during Passport to Christmas in 2019.

In 2020, 46 local businesses participated, contributing $25 gift cards.

The $1,500 shopping spree draw winner was Susan Prins and the $500 gas card from Ponoka Co-op Oils was won by Lenni Goedhart. Prins can now choose up to three participating merchants to spend her winnings at.

“I think it was fantastic,” said Logan Aitken, store manager of The Brick, Ponoka.

The store stamped so many passports that they ran out of ink twice and eventually resorted to crossing off and signing passports.

The Brick customers tend to hold off their shopping until Passport to Christmas and wait until their Boxing Day and other seasonal sales so they can really stack the benefits, says Aitken.

“I think it helps businesses generate traffic, especially in the downtown core.”

This is Aitken’s second year with The Brick, and he was new to the Passport to Christmas.

“It’s a genius idea; brilliant.”

“The season was actually quite good,” said Jim Tangjerd, co-owner of Tantec Electronics with his wife, Norlyn.

The passports didn’t seem as popular this year, however, as people were likely more concerned about passing paper, he says.

He says it’s “good initiative” and that he doubts if they’ve missed a year since it started.

Carol Dunn at Flowers for You says although she stamped less passports this year, she always participates and has for 21 years.

Sponsored prizes from participating merchants were drawn for 42 lucky winners. See the ad on page 6 congratulating them on their win.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19.  (File photo)
750 new COVID-19 cases identified in Alberta Sunday

Central zone currently has 1,182 active cases of the virus

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveres to Canada are being delayed because of complications at their European distribution facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Delays of Pfizer vaccine delivery to impact Alberta’s vaccination plans

Alberta has administered 74,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far

(Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Sentencing delayed in the stabbing death of Samantha Sharpe, of Sunchild First Nation. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

(Via the Canadian Press)
Alberta monolith comes with message to save eastern slopes of Rocky Mountains

‘They deserve our attention. They warrant our protection. They are under threat’

Bentley Blessing Pantry continues to faithfully serve the community

‘We just wanted to make everyone aware that we are still here to serve you throughout this coming year.’

A Suncor logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 2, 2019. A worker is missing after a dozer broke through ice on an inactive Suncor tailings pond in northern Alberta.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Worker missing after dozer breaks through frozen tailings pond in northern Alberta

The worker was an employee of Christina River Construction

File Photo
‘You took away some real joy,’ Sylvan Lake Winter Village turned off after vandalism

Sometime during the night of Jan, 12 the light display at the pier was vandalized and damaged

Most Read