An ongoing challenge for many small towns in Southwestern Manitoba is getting residents to shop at the local stores and that includes Souris.

The Souris Chamber of Commerce is using a Red Card Program as a way of rewarding shoppers for making purchases with the participating businesses.

Jacy Arbuckle is with the chamber of commerce, and she says the program has been around for a number of years and it works. “The Red Car campaign starts November 24th. Customers can take those cards around to various businesses and get them stamped and then they get entered into a draw. We have weekly draws where they can win Souris bucks that get spent in town. There are additional prizes that have been donated that we give away as well.”

The weekly draws will start the first week of December and continue throughout the month.

“This program started several years ago as a way of keeping people shopping here as opposed to going to the city and it has been great for us here in Souris.”

Arbuckle points out their proximity to Brandon can create some challenges.

“It’s tough for smaller businesses to compete with the pricing but you can’t beat the service you get from a small business. We try to add a little extra incentive to keep people shopping here and to realize they can get a lot by shopping in the smaller towns,” said Jacy Arbuckle.