Friday, September 1, 2017

‘Downtown Discounts’ program targets UIS, LLCC students

Discounts at nearly a dozen businesses are the latest effort to draw college students from University of Illinois Springfield and Lincoln Land Community College to the city downtown commercial-historic district.

The discount strategy introduced Thursday came from student members of a higher education advisory committee created by state Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez.

Discounts for students with ID include 10 percent off, and buy-one get-one-free offers at 11 businesses, a number supporters said they expect to increase as the program catches on.

“One of the things they talked to me about was how can they get UIS students and Lincoln Land students better connected with downtown Springfield,” Jimenez said at a kick-off announcement at Springfield Vintage. The collectibles and retro shop at 215 S. Fifth St. is among the 11 participating businesses that will be marked with a “Downtown Discounts” decal in front windows.

A number of redevelopment studies have focused on greater entertainment, shopping and residential options downtown as one of the keys to attracting young people to live and work in Springfield. “We keep having this conversation in Springfield. How do we keep our millennials, how do we keep our young people?” said Lisa Clemmons Stott, executive director of Downtown Springfield Inc. “It’s because they want a vibrant downtown. They want a place that’s cool, and hip, and that has great food, that has great shops.

“I think both UIS and Lincoln Land students just really want a very college atmosphere downtown,” said UIS junior Kaelan Smith. “They want an atmosphere and activities where they can make great memories and enjoy great specialty shops that helps them get more connected to the moment they’re at in their life right now, in college.”

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on August 31, 2017.

Read the entire article online.