Customers encouraged to take selfies to promote small SF businesses

Valencia Street in San Francisco. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo)

San Francisco businesses are launching a campaign next month to encourage customers to shop locally by offering prizes to those who take selfies outside of their favorite stores.

Henry Karnilowicz, president of the San Francisco Council of District Merchants Association which created the sweepstakes, said the idea for the November to Remember campaign came from his hometown Geelong, Australia, where each spring they host May Magic to promote local small businesses.

To participate, people just need to take a selfie outside their favorite small business and submit it on the campaign website.

There are three grand prizes, including an electric bicycle from the Electric Bicycle Superstore, a weekend stay at the Fairmont San Francisco (including dinner and champagne worth $2,500) and 12 dinners for two people at various San Francisco restaurants.

Other prizes include baskets worth $400 from each of the 21 district merchant associations in San Francisco. The prizes will be awarded based on the number of selfies taken, but participants will be limited to submitting one selfie per day.

Competition from large corporations like Amazon put strain on local businesses. The goal of the campaign is to bring people out into the community to support small businesses, Karnilowicz explained.

Karnilowicz said he hopes residents throughout San Francisco will participate. “We are the backbone of the community and we want people to know what we do for the community,” he said.

The sweepstakes runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31.

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