Some stores refuse Chamber card

Although participation in a popular discount programme offered through the Chamber of Commerce has declined since Hurricane Ivan, its numbers are slowly returning as businesses get back on their feet.

Chamber CEO Wil Pineau said many small businesses are still not up and running while some members have decided to drop the discount altogether.

‘Some of the larger merchants are saying they have already incorporated the lowest prices that they can give. They just can’t pass on another discount to customers,’ he said.

‘I am a bit disappointed some stores have decided to drop the discount . . . but we have to remember that we’re still in recovery mode – it isn’t business as usual.’

He added the recovery process has also delayed renewals in the voluntary programme, which are due at the first of the year.

More than 170 local and international businesses participated in the Chamber’s Discount Card programme last year. Around 125 remain. It’s the largest discount programme on the island with some 15,000 cards circulating among members and their staff.

‘It is a phenomenal marketing tool,’ said Pineau.

The cards give Chamber members discounts of between five to 50 per cent on a wide range of products and services which include everything from rental cars, hotels and jewellers to liquor stores, clothing boutiques and restaurants.

Pineau noted while some businesses have opted out, the discount programme is also drawing new members. ‘It is continuing to grow.’