The Palmer Chamber of Commerce is giving people incentives for eating out at local restaurants.

The first-ever Taste of Palmer started on March 1.

Customers get a stamp for every $10 they spend.

“They’re going to spend the money here anyway, so it’s nice to reward them for doing so,” said Humdingers owner Gordon Fletcher.

Ten stamps complete the cards, which get entered for a weekly drawing and a $1,000 Visa gift card grand prize.

Humdingers has been a Palmer pizza staple for nearly seven years. Fletcher said he’s excited to see how the promotion will boost newer restaurants.

“There’s a cool little culinary hub here, Fletcher said.

Just down the street from Humdingers, 203 Kombucha has settled in over the past month.

“It’s been great. We’ve been struggling to keep up with the demand for kombucha,” said owner David Boortz. “The town is thirsty.”

Boortz hopes to bring in even more customers by participating in the Taste of Palmer.

“This is a time of year a little extra business will go a long way,” Boortz said.

Ailis Vann, the chamber’s past president, said the idea for the event came after a successful Shop Palmer retail promotion over the holiday season.

Now they’re encouraging people to hit up restaurants during a time of year that’s typically slow.

“Out of our chamber membership, over 56 percent are small businesses so it’s important we do what we can as a chamber that has a pretty wide reach and a lot of resources that we do what can do help those guys through the hard times,” Vann said.

There are 16 restaurants participating, including a couple of national chains like Subway and Dairy Queen.

“It ensures a good economy and I think that’s important in a small place,” said 203 Kombucha customer Margaret Baldwin.

Taste of Palmer continues until April 30, when all the cards will be collected for the grand prize drawing.

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