‘Discover Crestwood’ attracts 116 businesses

More than 100 Crestwood businesses have signed up for the city’s business revitalization program.

“Discover Crestwood” so far has attracted 116 of the roughly 300 businesses in the city, Nikki Koehnemann, assistant to the city administrator, told the Board of Aldermen last week. The program, which kicked off in October, is designed to encourage area shoppers to patronize city businesses and to help the business community through the tough economy.

Business owners have the opportunity to participate in “Discover Crestwood” in two ways. They can sign up, at no charge, to be included in a business directory on the city’s Web site and/or choose a discount to offer participating patrons.

Koehnemann said of the 116 businesses that have signed up to be included in the online directory, 72 are offering “Discover Crestwood” discounts. To receive those discounts, patrons must obtain a “savings pass,” available through the city’s Web site and bimonthly newsletters, and present it at participating businesses.

Businesses pay nothing out-of-pocket to Crestwood for participation in the discount option; their only expense is the amount of the discount. Owners are asked to place a “Discover Crestwood” decal in their front window or near their cash register.

City staff members also have created “Discover Crestwood” accounts on the popular social-networking sites Facebook and Twitter, Koehnemann said.

She said Crestwood’s own Web site has seen a significant increase in visits since “Discover Crestwood’s” implementation last month, though it’s unknown if the program alone caused the jump in activity.

The city’s Web site received 74,106 “hits” in September and 243,791 in October, Koehnemann said.