Gold Country Communities Society — which recently put new signage up at all the towns within Gold Country, such as this one outside Cache Creek — is now looking for 50 area businesses to participate in an excellence program that wil provide $15,000 in economic stimulus. Photo: Barbara Roden.

Gold Country Communities Society — which recently put new signage up at all the towns within Gold Country, such as this one outside Cache Creek — is now looking for 50 area businesses to participate in an excellence program that wil provide $15,000 in economic stimulus. Photo: Barbara Roden.

Businesses sought for new excellence program

$15,000 in funding to help Gold Country businesses will help after the wildfires.

Gold Country Communities Society (GCCS) has launched a new program, “Excellence in Gold Country”, designed to help businesses within the Gold Country region that were impacted by this summer’s wildfires.

The GCCS is looking for 50 businesses to take part in the program, which will see customers fill out a very brief survey for an opportunity to win a gift certificate worth $50 to be spent at any of the participating businesses.

There will be 30 winning names drawn each week for 10 weeks, with the final draw on March 2, 2018. Although there is only one entry per person allowed for the duration of the program, non-winning entries stay in the draw for the entire period.

The $15,000 in funding to support the program comes from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, and is designed to help people recover from the wildfires.

Businesses that want to participate must be located within the Gold Country region and must have been affected by the wildfires (by road closures, evacuations, air quality, or reduced visitor traffic).

“The idea came about at a strategic marketing session held by Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association,” says GCCS chief operating officer Terri Hadwin.

“We wanted to showcase our region and show travellers that we are open for business and a beautiful destination to visit. We felt this program would have immediate results and be a call to action, with a message that says ‘Visit Gold Country today!’”

All participating businesses will be listed on Businesses will be able to control the application of the promotional gift certificates (e.g. not valid for sales items or on blackout days). The gift certificates have no cash value, and winners must surrender the full $50 value of the certificate (no change is given). Businesses then submit the gift certificates and the redemption form to GCCS for reimbursement.

There will be two surveys for customers to fill out in order to enter the draw: one for residents of Gold Country and one for visitors. Residents will be asked to nominate their favourite Gold Country business, while anyone from outside the area will be asked what would help them plan a visit to Gold Country.

Space is limited to the first 50 businesses that apply, although once that threshold is met there will be a waiting list for other interested businesses. If more funding comes available, the program might be run again.

The current program will be launched at the end of December, and successful applicants will be contacted and given more information before the program starts.

Businesses can sign up directly at They can also email, or call the GCCS office at (250) 457-6606.

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