Friday, September 21, 2012

Local-business discount card debuts

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 6:02 PM

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The saving game has gone local in recent months, with the debut of the Groupon-type website Live On Local, not to mention the Independent's own Garden of the Goods. And that continues with the Buy Local card from David Pico and Peak Region Cyclist magazine.

Pico, an infrequent contributor of sorts to the Indy, says that though touting local products has since become ubiquitous, "When I started my own company 4 years ago, I wasn't yet familiar with that idea," he writes in an e-mail interview. "It didn't affect my buying decisions. I was ignorant. Owning my own business drastically changed my buying habits and I've come to care a lot about other business owners and how they're doing."

So far, nine businesses have signed up (though 25 is the goal): McCabe's Tavern, Phantom Canyon Brewing Co., Front Range Barbeque, Nosh, TAPAteria, Pizzeria Rustica, the Olive Branch Restaurant, Buttercup's Frozen Yogurt and Jake & Telly's Greek Taverna. The card, which is good for a year and costs around $5 to $10, then gets you a variety of discounts, like a free appetizer with the purchase of two entrées at J&T. Pico estimates that if the user dines out around once a week, it'd be worth around $250 a year.

And it's good for the restaurants, too.

"I'm not pushing for a gouge, I want it to make sense for the business," Pico writes. "The companies on the card are included each month as a display advertisement in the print magazine and their logo is put on our website. It's great exposure online and in print, and it doesn't cost the company anything, except the discount that they choose ... but even that means a customer. It gets people in their doors. It makes a lot of sense."

Especially considering a summer event you may remember ...

"The Waldo Canyon fire put a vicious dent in our local businesses so it just felt like a good time to encourage the buy-local mindset and support the businesses through this card," Pico writes. "Having a magazine at my fingertips, I was just in a good position to do it."

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