Pleasanton Weekly

News - April 16, 2010

'PTA Shops Ptown'

Program aims to be win-win for merchants, PTA members

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Pleasanton PTA Council representatives will be hitting the streets soon to drum up support for its program, PTA Shops Ptown.

"We're waiting for the weather to improve," said Jodie Vashistha, vice president of membership. "We want to drop off our brochures."

"With what is going on with the budget crisis, we're hoping to get more businesses," she added. "They can write it off as a tax deduction."

The program has gone through a few changes since it was started four months ago, she explained. Originally the council was asking businesses to offer special deals to PTA members. Now businesses have the option of making a donation to the cause whenever a PTA member makes a purchase, or they can wait for dollars to add up from the purchases.

"One store downtown said they would rather do it where they could make a donation," Vashistha explained.

"We want to help our local businesses during these tough economic times," said Joan Laursen, Pleasanton PTA Council president. "Studies have shown that for every $100 spent at a locally owned merchant, $68 stays in the local economy. When you spend $100 at a chain store, only $43 stays in the area. When you buy on-line, nothing stays local.

"Further, choosing to shop in Pleasanton helps our city by retaining sales tax revenue for our city services."

The important thing with this program is that businesses agree to recognize PTA shoppers, and that PTA members frequent these establishments. Four businesses have signed on so far: Fusion3; Filigree Cakes and Pastries; Crispin BJJ Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; and Fabulous Friends Pet Sitting.

The PTA Council has 5,000 members in Pleasanton from Amador Valley High School, Harvest Park Middle School, and Walnut Grove, Fairlands, Vintage Hills, Hearst, Mohr and Alisal elementary schools. Participating merchants are given a PTA Shop Ptown window cling to identify themselves.

In order to participate, the business owner or manager must be a PTA member at a Pleasanton school. Anyone in Pleasanton may join any school PTA of their choosing to get the discounts; membership fees range from $10 to $18.

To learn more about the program, visit www.pleasantonpta.org.

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