Buy local, win prizes with Stark Strong campaign

Stark Development Corporation

As Stark County residents were quarantined in their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and shipping items to them started to take with longer than usual, they began to rely on the county businesses that were still open. Still, the coronavirus has hit small businesses hard nationwide.

"I think local has come back to people's minds a little more," said Ryan Jilek of Stark Development Corporation. "What can I get locally, and how can I make that work?"

The Stark Strong campaign aims to keep the momentum by enticing Stark County residents to shop local.

"It's our way to hopefully try to reinforce buying local ... and we wanted to wait a little bit until things calmed down and got back to —our new normal, I guess, as the governor calls it," Jilek said.

For every dollar you spend, your name will be entered into a weekly drawing to win either a $1,500, $750 or $250 gift card or certificate for one of the county's businesses. Every week, the corporation will give away $2,500 worth of gift cards and certificates.


"To enter, you just need to scan or take a picture of your receipts that you spend in town showing that you bought something in Dickinson and paid sales tax on it. Each dollar you spend will give you an entry into the drawing for that week," Jilek said.

Per contest rules, the purchase must be at least $10 and be at a business in Stark County that collects sales tax. Purchases in excess of $5,000 will be limited to a maximum of 5,000 individual entries.

To enter the contest, visit and complete the form with your name, phone number and email as well as the name of the store, the amount you spent, the amount of sales tax you paid and a photo of your receipt. Participants must be 21 years or older.

The campaign began July 12 and will continue through September 5.

"It should take us through back to school. We planned it for eight weeks ... which would get our back to school push, too, where there's usually a big retail surge," Jilek said.

They may organize similar campaigns in the future, as well.

"Also, we talked about creating a campaign that's easy enough to replicate to go back and maybe (do) around the holidays again," Jilek said. "This first wave is going to be sponsored by Stark Development, and then I think as we move forward, we'd like to try and see that become more community sponsored."

Kayla Henson is a former Dickinson Press reporter.
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