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Shopping locally made one Neligh woman $1,000 richer today. She's not the only winner - the local business community also will benefit.
The Neligh Chamber of Commerce wrapped up its latest campaign to encourage local spending this holiday season with the Chamber Business Bingo.
Mary Ellen Taylor's name was drawn from the nearly 200 entries of bingo finalists.
The Chamber Business Bingo ran from Nov. 23 to Dec. 23. Receipts from Chamber-member businesses were taken to the Chamber office to be validated where participants then drew for a space on their bingo card.
Every receipt from city water bills and chiropractors to haircuts and prescriptions were eligible, as long as they were for at least $20 and the businesses is one a member of the Chamber. With about 100 members, that made most businesses in Neligh eligible for the shop local campaign.
Adding to the fun - and the local spending initiative - $100 was given away each week to the first bingo winner, besides being entered into the $1,000 grand prize drawing, according to Assistant Economic Development Director Lauren Sheridan-Simonsen.
"We've had hundreds of people over the course of it all coming in," she said. "Most receipts were more that $20. It's exciting to see those dollars spent locally."
She said Business Bingo provided not only an opportunity for participants to rethink local shopping, but it was also another great benefit of being a Chamber member since the organization is dedicated to helping local businesses.
Sheridan-Simonsen said it also served as a connection between the Neligh Chamber of Commerce and community members.
"There was one woman that has been a resident for more than 30 years that has never been in (the chamber office). She said she has never had the need to come in," Sheridan-Simonsen said.