by Pam North
The new word around town now is NedWEB, not to be confused with that other hot project, NedPeds. Nederland will utilize a small economic grant from Boulder County to conduct a pilot project to create a more sustainable local economy through NedWEB (Nederland Winter Economic Boost), which is intended to encourage consumers to get in the habit of shopping locally. Winter historically is less profitable for most area businesses that derive most of their traffic from the warmer months when tourists abound and “snowbirds” return from warmer winter locales to inhabit their Nederland residences again. Revving up commerce during the cold weather slump is the goal.
In the past, Nederland traditionally has used Boulder County Economic Development Grant funds to support local events over which it had no control or assurance of their continuation, an unstable base which brought spurts of increased business to the community. Sustained, more even year ’round activity that would gain momentum and beneficially shape consumer behavior was deemed to be a more desirable approach. Boulder County was supportive of Nederland trying out a more innovative approach that would encompass long-term viability. Only Nederland and Lyons are grant recipients without a designated economic development staff person, and Nederland staff has constraints on the amount of time that may be designated for a complex or far-reaching economic development program. The NedWEB program was developed to fit the Town’s needs and capability for implementation. While events will remain a part of Nederland’s calendar and culture, it is visualized that NedWEB will balance them out to more dependably support the Town’s economy.
The first step of the program is to provide some real incentive for locals to drop their dollars in their own town, and the process is simple. Each month, from January through May, 2013, the first 66 presenters visiting Town Hall with $100 worth of receipts, from Nederland businesses or service providers on the Nederland “Good Neighbor Business” list, will each receive a voucher worth $15, good at any of the businesses on that list. The voucher, embossed with the Town of Nederland official stamp, numbered in black pen, and bearing the presenter’s handwritten signature, will allow its owner to redeem it like cash at any participating local retailer whose establishment displays the NedWEB sticker, The voucher is then redeemed at Town Hall by the business for the $15, plus an additional $1 handling fee. The program thus encourages a customer to shop twice. The pilot program will be tracked carefully, and if successful, probably could be expanded in the future to residents outside Nederland. The program meshes with the Envision Nederland 2020 goals of a sustainable local economy.
Obviously there will be a few defining rules. No more than 50% of a resident’s receipts can come from any one business, in order to spread out the shopping. Only residents and businesses in the Town of Nederland may participate, and then only once per month. Once the 66 vouchers are given away in any given month, that’s it for that month, but if the entire 66 vouchers are not claimed, the remaining vouchers roll over into the the next month. Any business that wishes to decline to participate may do so, and only those compliant with Town business licensing and posted on the Town’s “Good Neighbor Business List” are eligible to participate. Receipts must be generated in any month within the January through May time period, with a 15-day grace period into the following month for submission. Receipts may be submitted in person at Town Hall, or by email or U.S. Mail, and credit card statements also will be accepted. Anyone counterfeiting the vouchers, or otherwise abusing the program, will be barred from further participation.
More information on the NedWEB program may be obtained on the Town’s website, or by contacting the Town Clerk: Teresa Myers Phone: (303) 258-3266, ext. 23 Email at: email@example.com Mail: Town Hall, 45 W. First St./P.O. Box 396, Nederland, CO 80466