Digital ‘passport’ encourages shopping local in Prince William County

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PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Shops. Craft beverage venues. TaeKwonDo classes. These are just some of the places where you can use Prince William County’s new virtual passport.

“We were looking for different ways to incentivize consumers to come to Prince William County,” said Ann Marie Maher, Director of Tourism for Prince William County.

The Prince William County Office of Tourism decided to create a mobile ‘passport’, where those visiting can see deals and discounts at participating stores in the area. Some venues, such as MurLarkey Distilled Spirits, will also be handing out small momentos for each guest. “We are giving a free logo shot glass with any purchase, and that is a little token of our appreciation,” said Jim Larkin, Co-Founder of MurLarkey Distilled Spirits.

The initiative is to support economic recovery in the community after a year of COVID-19. “Local businesses, especially the ones that depend on tourism, are not able to survive if we don’t shop local,” said Maher.

Using the passport is simple — those interested go to the website, enter some basic contact information, and receive a text with the digital passport.

“We have over 200 consumers who have signed up for it, and we’re looking to get more people to interact,” said Maher.

The business owners are grateful to be in a supportive community.

“The passport to prince william has been a savior for us. I know a lot of the other local businesses on the passport are very happy with it as well,” said Larkin.

There are over 90 small businesses participating in the program.

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