CAMSA Quarterly | Special Holiday Edition 2020
The Downtown Martinez Gift Boxes featured unique items from five local businesses. Photo credit: Main Street Martinez
Launched for the first time this holiday season, the Downtown Martinez Gift Box initiative provided a way for Main Street Martinez to market and promote their small businesses while also giving the community an active opportunity to support both small businesses and the Main Street program. To the customer, these gift boxes were a holiday treat full of unique items from local businesses. But while these gift boxes were certainly a way to safely support small businesses, this program also raised funds for the Main Street organization.
Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at this program and providing resources on how you can replicate this holiday promotion and fundraiser in your own district.
Main Street Martinez anticipated their Downtown Martinez Gift Boxes would be highly popular gift items. As such, they planned to pre-sell a maximum of 100 boxes. These boxes would contain five items from five different retail stores along with a selection of vouchers and coupons from restaurants and other service-based businesses.
After a week of pre-sales, the Main Street program would purchase the items from the small businesses. The boxes would then be packaged and made available via pick-up or delivery to purchasers. As a result of this approach, the Main Street program was able to turn a profit and raise funds for their organization!
The first step was to contact the businesses downtown to see who would be interested in participating in the program. Main Street Martinez sent out a sign-up email to business owners, which included key details about how the program would run as well as a link to sign up. Businesses were able to participate on a first-come-first-serve basis.
To sign up, businesses completed a form that asked for basic details about the business and business owner, as well as details on the item the business was submitting for inclusion in the gift box. Main Street Martinez capped the cost of the proposed included item at $10 or less, so businesses were asked to provide an approximate value of their included item. Businesses also needed to confirm that they could provide up to 100 of their proposed items within two weeks. This timeline was key to ensure the Main Street program’s volunteers could curate and assemble the gift boxes.
After this process, Main Street Martinez had curated:
Marketing the Boxes
After selecting their participating businesses, Main Street Martinez turned to the work of marketing these boxes to their community. During the week leading up to Small Business Saturday, the Main Street program sent emails about the pre-sale and posted on social media.
“The Downtown Martinez Gift Box is a beautify curated ensemble of unique items from the small businesses that make up the heart of our downtown,” begins one email, “the perfect gift for anyone who loves Downtown Martinez and loves to support local, small businesses!”
After this great marketing effort from Main Street Martinez, 57 boxes were pre-ordered.
Assembly and Delivery
The final step was for the boxes to be assembled. The five selected small businesses dropped their items off at Main Street Martinez, at which point their payment was immediately granted. Volunteers from the Main Street program worked to assemble and pack the 57 boxes, which were then available for pick-up or delivery on Thursday, December 16th. The gift boxes were available for pickup at one of the five participating businesses to generate additional foot traffic and get the customers into the store.
After purchasing items from their small businesses and buying shipping materials, the Main Street program came away from the initiative with a profit of over $1,500.
In developing a new way for the community to shop local, Main Street Martinez’s latest innovative initiative is sure to become a new holiday tradition for this California Main Street program. Congratulations to Main Street Martinez on such a successful launch!