ISHPEMING — A campaign designed to promote local holiday shopping in western Marquette County continues to grow.

The Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce wrapped up its fifth Holiday Punch Card Campaign last week. Through receipts turned in by participants, the chamber was able to track more than $39,000 worth of cash spent at member businesses from November 1st through December 22nd.

“I was tallying up the receipt totals about a week before the campaign ended, and we were looking to be on track with about the same amount we made last year,” said GINCC Marketing and Communications Coordinator Ashley Geist, “but in the last couple days of the punch card campaign, we had an overwhelming response of people [coming] in saying, ‘oh no! I forgot to bring these in, and I’ve been meaning to do it this whole time, and I just realized that tomorrow is the last day.'”

Over at least the last three holiday seasons, the campaign has seen consistent growth.

“Last year, we tracked just shy of $30,000, and this year we tracked just shy of $40,000, so each year we’ve tried to create more awareness about the campaign, and on a positive note, seeing the numbers go up by ten thousand every year really tells us that people are thinking more about their local businesses. They’re supporting their local businesses,” Geist added.

People who participated in the campaign were entered into a drawing for over $1,000 worth of prizes donated by GINCC member businesses.