Cozad Passport Program intends to put the spotlight on community businesses

COZAD — The Cozad Chamber of Commerce is putting a focus on their member businesses during the slow period which usually follows the holiday season. The Cozad Passport program is intended to get people in the door and to showcase just exactly what Cozad has to offer.

Cozad Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karmen Morse said the Passport program mirrors the Nebraska Passport program, run by the Nebraska Tourism Commission.

The idea for a similar program for Cozad was born out of discussions among retail businesses chamber members, Morse said. Before Morse’s time as director there was a retail committee for the Cozad Chamber, but this hasn’t been the case for several years.

During a brainstorming discussion a group coalesced which dubbed themselves the Cozad Retail Team and the idea there should be a chamber event to support businesses during this slower time of the year following Christmas.

The Cozad Passport Program is like the Nebraska one in that participants will visit the businesses and get their passports stamped, to prove they visited the business or engaged with it. The chamber and the Retail Team are finalizing the finer points of participating rules.

Passports will be available for pickup at participating businesses or the Cozad Chamber of Commerce.

Morse said they want people to visit all the businesses involved and fill their passports. Participants are also invited to provide their phone number and or email so the chamber can keep them updated with everything going on with the chamber businesses throughout the year.

“The goal of the program is to generate local interest and community for our Cozad business and to invite Cozad locals to get to know their commerce partners in Cozad,” 242 House proprietor Susan Kuhlman wrote to chamber businesses.

“We want to have the Cozad community see what their town has to offer,” said Morse.

At the moment around 20 chamber businesses are interested in participating, Morse said. The goal is to get a total of 30 businesses as a part of the program.

The program will run from Feb. 1 through March 31, a two month period, said Morse. Those who visit every business on the program can turn in their passports to the chamber for a drawing which will take place on April 15.

There will be four categories of winners who complete the requirements of the program. The following categories will receive Cozad Dollars as prize money,

Grade School $220

Middle School $220

High School $220

18 years and older $2,020

The next meeting to discuss the program is Monday, Jan. 13 at 5:30 p.m. at 242 House, Morse said the meeting is open to any who wish to participate in the program

“While Cozad is a destination for many, we cannot survive if we don’t not have strong local community support,” Kuhlman wrote.

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