Seasonal shoppers may want to take note as a special promotion by the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal’s sales team is already underway and bound to show them the stores and restaurants that they didn’t even know existed.

Called the Union-Sun & Journals Bicentennial Business Passport, the contest boasts $6,000 in prizes with more than 100 local shops and eateries participating.

Part of the sales team, Ann Fisher-Bale said the point of the promotion is to link the community to the paper, and likewise link businesses with the community.

“The idea is to get the community involved in the bicentennial celebration,” she said. “(The shops) range from Lockport, to Newfane, to Lyndonville to Medina, back up through Middleport and Gasport. It’s to basically get them familiar with businesses in their backyard which they may not have otherwise know were there.”

The Business Passport acts similarly to a regular passport, only instead of different nations, the Business Passport has a spot for each of the 105 business to place a sticker when contestants reach their counter.

“(Shoppers) need to go to a minimum of 50 of the businesses in order to be eligible for the top row of prizes,” Fisher-Bale said, referring to the grand prizes. “For every 10 businesses over 50, they get an additional entry into the grand prize drawings.”

Grand prizes include a $1,500 gift certificate from Mills Jewelers, a $1,000 gift certificate from Newfane Lumber, a $1,000 gift certificate from Pies Lockport Furniture and a $849 Weber Grill from Spalding Hardware. Another drawing for those who visit a minimum of 30 businesses include prize packages of gift certificates ranging from $500, $350 and $250, as well as, gift certificate packs valued at $100 for 10 of the winners.

This might seem like a real punch in the wallet, but Fisher-Bale quickly explained that there was no obligation to buy anything, just visit.

“You can just go into these businesses and get their sticker. You don’t have to buy anything,” she said. “Each participating business has a window decal on their front door featuring the Sun, showing they participate in the contest.”

The contest is open until Nov. 4 and the filled passport has to be turned in no later than Nov. 8.

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