The West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and LaFontaine Subaru of Commerce Township have teamed up to try to help local businesses via a campaign called “Support Our Shops.”

The West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and LaFontaine Subaru of Commerce Township have teamed up to try to help local businesses via a campaign called “Support Our Shops.”

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Support Our Shops campaign launched to help local businesses

By: Mark Vest | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published May 9, 2021

 As a way of supporting local businesses, residents have been given opportunities to receive gift cards via a campaign known as “Support Our Shops.” Toyology in West Bloomfield is one such business that has received support.

As a way of supporting local businesses, residents have been given opportunities to receive gift cards via a campaign known as “Support Our Shops.” Toyology in West Bloomfield is one such business that has received support.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — The Greater West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and a local business have teamed up in an effort to help give local businesses a boost.

The “Support Our Shops” campaign gives consumers an opportunity to earn gifts while also supporting local business establishments.

Chamber Executive Director Suzanne Levine said she came up with the idea in January and then gave LaFontaine Subaru of Commerce Township an opportunity to get involved.

Twice a month, Levine thinks of a trivia question, with the first person to answer correctly earning a gift card.

To see trivia questions, visit westbloomfieldchamber.com and sign up for the newsletter on the site.

Questions go out near the beginning and end of each month. Answers can be sent to wbloomfieldchamber@gmail.com.

According to Levine, even non-chamber members can win.

Levine explained LaFontaine Subaru’s role.

“They went out into the community and purchased $25 gift cards from a variety of shops in our community,” she said. “It’s been very successful, because not only did they (purchase) gift cards from these stores — we didn’t ask the stores to donate anything — but now they might get some new customers when they come in to use their gift cards. So, it’s kind of a win-win. … LaFontaine Subaru loves to sponsor things in the community that will help the community, and I was trying to figure out a way to help bring in some new business to some of our chamber member businesses.”

Toyology and Lash Lounge are examples of where gift cards have been purchased.

Levine expects the campaign to last throughout the year, with the possibility of extending it into next year, as well.

“It’s a great opportunity to highlight some of our local businesses,” she said. “I’m trying to do whatever I can to make sure that they survive this pandemic and, hopefully, even thrive throughout it.”

Before the campaign is all said and done, Levine would like to help have an impact on multiple businesses in the area.

“We have so many great chamber members, and I’m trying to spread the wealth so that everyone feels the love and support, because we know that they are the backbone of our community, these small businesses,” she said.

The chamber’s president of the board of directors, Vito Curcuru, recognized the efforts of Levine and LaFontaine Subaru.

“Businesses in the area have suffered through closures and the pandemic, and we have heard from many businesses (that) they need help,” Curcuru wrote via email. “Suzanne approached the team at LaFontaine Subaru of Commerce Township about the idea of supporting local businesses and presented the idea (of) $25 gift card giveaways tied to a trivia question. The LaFontaine team jumped at the opportunity to not only support the chamber, but to support the business community. We are thrilled with the program.”

Perhaps more so than any other local entity, the chamber is in tune with the challenges that local businesses have been facing.

“Unfortunately, we have lost several small businesses,” Levine said. “I think the grants have helped, and I know there’s a big restaurant grant that is coming through to help some of these restaurants if they (want to) have outdoor dining. … Oakland County is (going to) be receiving a huge influx of money from the government, so hopefully we’ll be able to direct that to some of our other businesses that have had a very difficult time.”

When asked about the status of the local economy, Levine said, “I think that it’s improving.”

She anticipates better days ahead.

“I’m pretty optimistic because I see that there are people joining the chamber,” Levine said. “I feel like, as the summer approaches and people start to get out more, I think they’ll be spending more money locally. … I’m hoping that people will start to realize that it’s time to start supporting the community that helps them.”

Levine provided an example as to how people can go about doing that.

“I encourage people to shop local as much as possible,” she said. “Instead of going to a big box store, think if you can purchase any of the things that you’re looking (for) at one of our smaller, individual shops, because they have unique things that you will not find at some of the big box stores.”

A representative for LaFontaine Subaru could not be reached for comment.

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