The City of Grand Rapids
and Local First
recently announced their collaborative program, MyGRCity Points.
The innovative and free program rewards customers who use the city's
Single Stream Recycling Program and volunteer in the community. Points
earned can be redeemed at local businesses for discounts on products and
"This is the first time Local First has partnered with the city of Grand
Rapids," says Elissa Sangalli Hillary, executive director of Local
While working on the details of this program behind the scenes for several months, national organization CEOs for Cities
learned of the program and wanted to get involved. CEOs for Cities is a
non-profit organization that works with urban leaders to "catalyze the
advancement of the next generation of great American cities." With CEOs
for Cities' support, this program has the opportunity to be recognized
on a national level. This, in turn, then can elevate Grand Rapids'
profile as an innovative leader in community engagement.
According to Sangalli Hillary, many of the Local First members are
"excited by the support the city is showing to locally owned
businesses." Besides the positive benefits of recycling and
volunteerism, this program has the potential to increase visibility and
foot traffic for locally-owned businesses in the various neighborhoods
throughout the city.
Blending technology and incentives, the program is fairly simple to
understand and administrate. Within the next few months, customers will
be able to go online and register for a free MyGRCity Points account.
Once registered, participants can start earning points by participating
in wide variety of activities such as using the single stream recycling
program, helping to organize community events and volunteering for a
wide variety of activities, which will be identified through the
website. Individuals then can redeem points at participating local
businesses for discounts on products and services. The entire program
will be administered online.
The program is scheduled to roll out in three phases, beginning with the
recycling program. The goal is to be fully implemented by the end of
2011. For more information you can visit the website http://points.grcity.us
Source: Interview with Elissa Sangalli Hillary, City of Grand Rapids Media Release and CEOs for Cities website.
John Rumery is the Innovation and Jobs Editor for Rapid Growth Media. He
is an educator, board member of AimWest, WYCE music programmer,
entrepreneur, raconteur and competitive barbecuer living in Grand
Rapids, MI. He can be reached at InnovationandJobs@RapidGrowthMedia.com
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