Sales from Go Local cards raise nearly $17,000 for schools

ON THE MONEY: Students at Hall Fletcher Elementary School used some of the funds from the sale of Go Local cards to construct foot-operated hand sanitizer dispensers that are placed throughout the school. Photo courtesy of Hall Fletcher Elementary

You may not be able to buy happiness, but you can buy local. And the numbers show that area residents are doing just that, continuing a proud tradition of supporting local businesses through the Go Local card, a discount and special offers program that features over 500 locally owned businesses throughout Buncombe County.

According to a new report from the program’s creator, the Asheville Grown Business Alliance, sales from Go Local cards had seen a steady rise since 2018, with 2020’s first-quarter sales topping the previous year’s by 35%. 

This year, more than 2,000 Go Local cards were purchased in the first quarter of 2021 (compared with 3,050 in the same period last year). While numbers are down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they still represent a robust demand and a shift to online and bulk sales, says Michele Bryan, the organization’s program manager.

“Go Local is about preserving, strengthening and advocating for the heart and soul of Asheville, thereby assuring our children have a vibrant community with economic opportunities to grow up into,” Bryan comments.

Half of the proceeds from the sale of the 2021 Go Local cards are donated to public schools to enhance programming, purchase teacher supplies and support local kids. So far this year, the Asheville Grown Business Alliance has handed over $16,806 to schools and to the Asheville City Schools Foundation based on first-quarter sales of Go Local cards.

“Because of the pandemic and the need to avoid in-person events, the Asheville Primary Parent Teacher Collective hasn’t held many fundraisers this year,” says Polly Bolding, Asheville City Schools preschool enrollment and engagement coordinator and faculty liaison at the West Asheville public school. “It’s been so helpful to have Go Local donations that can support classroom and remote learning needs, as well as teacher appreciation efforts in this challenging year.”  

Other initiatives supported by funding from the Go Local cards this year include T-shirts for school teams and an outdoor shade structure that will allow kids to learn in the open air.

Franzi Charen, director at Asheville Grown, says continued support from the sales of the discount cards will contribute to a successful post-pandemic business economy and thriving community. 

“Coming out of the year of the pandemic, we need to radically shift our investment and focus to local,” she says.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.