• 72°

First shopper eligible for ‘Best’ discounts

For Natalie Ybarra, the Best of Brookhaven program was just areally good chance to save money while supporting localbusiness.

But Monday, Ybarra, 23, became the first “Best of Brookhaven”keychain carrier, which makes her the first of hopefully manyBrookhavenites who will be able to receive discounts and benefitsat local stores that are participating in the program.

Ybarra said she first read about the program in The DAILYLEADER, and thought it was a great idea.

“I think it’s a great incentive,” she said. “I like to shoplocally anyway.”

Under the program, which encourages loyalty shopping from localcustomers, a consumer makes at least $25 in purchases from each ofany five participating merchants and has a card stamped each time.The customer is given a keychain that recognizes them as a loyalshopper once they reach the five purchases mark.

Then stores provide monthly promotions only available to thosecustomers with the “Best of Brookhaven” keychain.

“This is great for the community and the businesses downtown,”said Chamber of Commerce President Stan Foster. “It also givesshoppers the opportunity to see what everyone has to offer, andencourages everyone to shop at home.”

Ybarra said she has long known the positives of shopping at homeas her father is a local dentist.

“Brookhaven has been so good to our family,” she said. “And ofcourse, with this program there are great incentives every month.You can’t go to Jackson and find a buy-one-get-one-free deal onquality things to decorate your home with.”

Currently there are 18 local specialty businesses involved inthe program, and Foster said they’re excited about how the programis going so far.

“Our merchants are pleased,” he said. “Several merchants havestamped people’s cards two, three and four times.”

Those taking part in the program can get their names on ane-mail list that will alert them each time there’s a new promotionor deal from a participating business.

“It’s like you get to open a new present every month,” saidImaginations owner Mary Johnson. “There are so many neat specials,and it’s a great idea for Christmas shopping. If you plan ahead andstart watching, you can find some really great discounts.”

Chamber Executive Vice President Cliff Brumfield said the Bestof Brookhaven program is one that all Brookhaven shoppers shouldlook into before the holiday season.

“It’s a good idea to pick up your card from one of theparticipating merchants,” he said. “The sooner you have all five ofthose boxes checked, the sooner you can take advantage of thediscounts.”

Brumfield said shoppers interested in the Best of Brookhavenprogram can find out more from participating store employees or bycalling the chamber of commerce at 601-833-1411.