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Flagler Board Shack sells and rents surfboards, skateboards, and athletic gear to devotees and newcomers alike.
Since taking over the business in 2015, Tommy Mulligan has made community support—both accepting and extending it—a pillar of Flagler Board Shack’s operations. He creates a homey, informal atmosphere in the shop, where he employs lots of locals, and never shoos away the young surfers and skaters (also known as groms) who hang around the storefront. Mulligan even allows customers to barter for rentals, sometimes with beer!
To help keep social ties and the economy strong in his small town of 5,000 people, Mulligan collaborates with other local business owners, making sure they complement each other’s offerings. He’s also worked with them to create a “Savor Flagler” shop-local campaign, which offers customers 10 to 15 percent off some purchases at participating businesses, because a thriving Main Street benefits all its neighbors.
Still, Mulligan wanted to do even more to shore up the mutually beneficial relationships between businesses and their customers. So, in the summer of 2018, he signed up for Fanbank, knowing that the software-as-a-service platform would incentivize customers to shop local without shortchanging businesses.
Through Fanbank, he can offer his customers rewards from major brands, like a free gift with purchase, that he couldn’t otherwise afford as an entrepreneur with a lean operation. It’s been a success—another way of drumming up interest and thanking the clientele that have made his community into a home.