Ridgefield Main Street: “Main Street Moola” Promotional Campaign
Ridgefield Main Street (RMS) supports microenterprises and small businesses through grants, community-building, promotional campaigns, and events. RMS may represent a small district by geography – walkable within a few minutes – but it is a significant organization in the community. RMS is the only civic organization in the city with a staff person and has amassed over 6,500 followers on its Facebook page – a number equal to two-thirds of the population of Ridgefield.
In 2016, RMS established a program to incentivize and subsidize customer spending downtown. The program, called Main Street Moola, provides $5 gift certificates to community members to redeem at downtown businesses. RMS then reimburses merchants for the full cost of the gift certificates they have collected. As of May 2021, RMS had circulated over $30,000 in Main Street Moola within the community and reimbursed merchants for $15,000 in certificates in 2021 alone. The program has been one of RMS’s most successful programs in building trust with businesses and for demonstrating direct impact, as RMS maintains a database of the vouchers distributed and reimbursed.
Ridgefield is a rapidly growing community with several incoming shopping centers within a few miles of the historic downtown. Compared to these locations with larger chain stores, the microenterprises downtown provide a distinct sense of local community where residents can gather. RMS is a relatively new organization in the community and has therefore spent significant effort over the past several years building relationships and trust with businessowners. RMS seeks to continue build a better sense of trust with businesses to understand how to best serve them.
Read the full case study in the Main Street & Microenterprise report.