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St. Pete Indies Reward Shoppers, Give Prizes In July

Big spenders at local businesses could win a sizable "thank you'' this month from Keep Saint Petersburg Local. The St. Pete-based independent business alliance has organized the "St. Pete’s Greatest Local Lover'' contest to celebrate Independents Week (July 1-7), a national celebration of local businesses organized annually by the American Independent Business Alliance.

To participate, customers can locate member businesses at Keep Saint Petersburg Local’s website. Shop, hire, dine, etc., and save your receipts on purchases made during the two weeks from June 30 to July 15. Then register on the KSPL website by July 18 to compete for the contest prize. (Only the top three spenders will be contacted to show their receipts as proofs of purchase.)

With more than 200 members including restaurants, retail stores, hair salons, web designers, lawyers, a dentist and a pest control company, KSPL is ready to connect customers with businesses, says founder and president Olga Bof, who launched the organization in January 2012. The goal of the contest is less to encourage spending sprees than to entice customers to drop the dough they'd be spending anyway at local, independently owned establishments.

"Maybe it's stuff that you're doing anyway these two weeks, but you're going to up the ante a little bit and support even more,'' Bof says.

The contest winner will take home a package of prizes that includes $3,000 worth of gift certificates from dozens of KSPL members including Mazzaro’s Italian Market, St. Pete Brasserie, Peaceful Warrior Massage, Vintage Interiors and Kathryn Cole Jewelry; $200 in KSPL currency to spend at member businesses; dinner for four at the winner's home, catered by Meze 119; a half-page ad in weekly newspaper Creative Loafing; and a one-of-a-kind commemorative award conceived and crafted by artist Joshua Poll of Zen Glass Studio.
   
Both individuals and businesses are eligible to compete as spenders. For a complete list of rules and regulations, click here.

Writer: Megan Voeller
Source: Olga Bof, Keep St. Petersburg Local
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