For three years, Clay County has hosted “Hometown Christmas,” an event intended to encourage residents to stay local for their Christmas shopping. Through Hometown Christmas, Clay County residents could receive a punch card. As they visited and bought from several local businesses, they would receive a punch on their card. Once they completed their punch card, residents could turn in their card for a prize. In 2022, with the help of Thrive’s GIS Analyst Tyler Hudson, the Hometown Christmas program became even more streamlined through Thrive’s Crossroads Trails app.

The Crossroads Trails app, which Thrive released in 2022, maps trails in Indiana’s West Central region. Hudson used this feature to map a new set of data –– the location of participating Hometown Christmas businesses.

Hudson explained that “on the app the event was advertised, and users could see all of the businesses participating with the event on the app itself. The app allowed the users to click on the points and read a short description of what the business offered.”

The app also provides users with GPS directions, Hudson said: “[T]he user can click on an arrow icon that would take them to their map app on their phone that would give them directions to the desired business.”

The app, which is free to download and requires no in-app purchases, made it easier for Clay County residents to discover and drive to local businesses. Thrive believes in the importance of local businesses to our communities and economies, and is excited to continue to support the Hometown Christmas program in the years to come!