Chamber's welcome bags go to waste
SOME Yamba businesses are too "busy" to take advantage of a proven winner when it comes to advertising their region to visitors.
Yamba Chamber of Commerce secretary Bev Mansfield said about 750 welcome bags were languishing in her store room because the chamber did not have enough material to fill them.
Ms Mansfield said the Welcome Bag program, which began two years ago, distributed specially-made bags filled with local promotional material to real estate agents, hotels, motels guest houses and other tourism operations.
"Sometimes we can have up to 50 things in them," Ms Mansfield said. "They can be promotional, have special deals or even samples of products in them.
"But at the moment we don't really have enough to put more than about 18 items."
Ms Mansfield said the chamber had put out a call for local businesses to provide material for the bags.
"It's a free opportunity to help your business be known by our visitors," Ms Mansfield said.
Although the program is a chamber-run operation, any business in Yamba can take part.
"We started out having it open to just chamber members but then we opened it up to anyone because we thought it is a benefit to everyone," she said.
"It's been a real win/win for a lot of business. All they have to do is provide us with a leaflet or some sort of promotional product they have already printed and we'll do the distribution.
"There need not be any extra costs and the distribution is free."
Yamba Cinema co-owner Debbie McCredie can't believe more businesses don't take advantage of the program.
She said the cinema had special vouchers printed for the bags which offered families half-price and free ticket deals to encourage multiple visits.
"It's a great way of getting repeat business," she said. "We offer a half-price ticket for every fourth ticket purchased and a free ticket after 12 tickets.
"I've had people come back in with vouchers from last year wanting to know it the deal still works. It's a great way of getting people back through the door."
Ms McCredie said business owners often felt they did not have the time to take part in these programs.
"We all feel like we're too busy to do this and that, even if it might help the business," she said.
"But this is something that works and something the chamber does a lot of the work distributing it."
Ms Mansfield asked interested businesses to contact her on 0499588137 or on email at email@example.com.