First Annual Small Business Bingo

If you want Deer Park to be a thriving community, yet wonder what difference you can make, believe it or not, the answer is simple and will save you time. 

Spokane County Library, a Neighborhood Champion for Small Business Saturday, has taken on the challenge of helping individuals discover phenomenal local stores in their community. This is the fourth year the library district has sponsored this event, but the first time Deer Park took part.  They hope to add a new community each year until all of the communities in Spokane County are included.

Shop Small and Play Bingo

The library district created bingo cards that could be picked up at any of the participating businesses, or at the library’s Welcome Station on November 30th. Players would have to visit at least four of the cooperating businesses and find an item at each that matched their card. If one could strategize, and find things such as a decorated tree, local art, or a serious beard, they could get a bingo and return to the library for a prize.

The nine businesses that participated in Deer Park were:

  • Bear Necessities and Deer Park Pack & Ship
  • Bicycles by Deron
  • Gardenspot Market & Floral
  • Inland Feed and Farm Supply
  • Lofty Skies
  • Masters BrewHouse
  • Pickett Fence
  • The Spin Barre
  • Trouvaille

I personally went into two businesses I have never entered before; one was not even where I thought it was. With each stop we had to look around for the items on our cards; some of the matches took some real creativity. As we looked, I realized there was more to each store than I had previously thought. The owners and staff of each business were friendly and eager to help with the hunt. Upon returning to the library with our completed cards, we had our choice of gift cards from the local stores that were involved in the event. Gift cards were paid for mostly by Friends of the Library; however, Pickett Fence donated all theirs, and Trouvaille donated two of the five available.

The Impact

So, the big question: was this event a success?

When asked how many people took part, Librarian and event organizer, Ree West stated, “I had contact with 47 people here at the library, talking about the event and 18 completed bingo cards were returned.” West observed that family and friends went around town together to have fun at this free community event.  For a first year event, the overall feeling is that it was a success.

Shopping at our own small businesses is just one way that we can help our community to thrive.  So, next time you are making a list of items, please think, “can I get this locally?” If you think you can or are unsure, save gas and time and stop by one of your neighborhood businesses to find out.

Next Year

In the future there is hope for a bigger and better turn out. Possible improvements would include a welcome area more central to the businesses involved, and more businesses willing to participate in the event. The library is already planning for Small Business Saturday 2020; if you are interested in having your business included, please contact Ree West at: 

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