Des Moines dealing out Waterland Cards

The city of Des Moines is launching a new campaign to give incentives to ‘Support Waterland’ and shop locally. A new program called ‘Waterland Cards’ is being launched to encourage residents to take advantage of local businesses.

Over 80,000 Waterland Cards will be distributed through publications and participating public and business venues including the Des Moines Waterfront Farmers Market.

The economic development manager for Des Moines, Marion Yoshino, spearheads the project.

“The city for a long time has talked about trying to encourage people to shop locally and to let people know what is available locally,” said Mayor Dave Kaplan.”

The program is very much designed to display, advertise the local aspect of shopping, eating out, and general services that are available in Des Moines that local residents may not have heard of.

“It takes a lot of people to make it work,” said Yoshino. “We’ve seen a great response.”

Over 50 Des Moines businesses have already signed up to participate, Yoshino said, which was her original goal. In time she hopes to have over 100 businesses signed up.

“I think once we get going we can be a great example,” said Yoshino. “We have a really gorgeous place and a great opportunity.”

Yoshino said that the Waterland cards program is loosely based on the Renton Curve Cards.

Yoshino said the program is very flexible; the businesses get to choose which discounts they offer. It can be anything from a percentage off to a free giant exercise ball.

Businesses range from coffee stands, cleaners, restaurants, florists and chiropractors.

“I don’t want to be a burden to the businesses investing,” said Yoshino. “I want it to be as much or as little that’s helpful to them, it doesn’t have to be the same thing all the time.”

The businesses will be listed online, in the city newsletter and participating businesses will display a decal letting customers know.

“We’ll just see what happens, maybe it will take time to get going,” said Yoshino. “It’ll be interesting to see what the momentum is.”

The city of Des Moines with the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce, Destination Des Moines, and Highline Community College StartZone have partnered together on the ‘Shop Waterland’ campaign.

When residents and visitors shop locally they sustain local jobs and help businesses employ local family, friends and neighbors along with maintaining strong and diverse neighborhoods. It also helps reduce energy consumption, pollution and travel time, according to the city newsletter.

The Waterland Card is free and available to everyone including residents outside of the Des Moines area. Residents can get it in print and also online.

Cards will be available at multiple locations and at participating businesses.