Merry promotions: 2020 Christmas Lights Contest and our BenchBiz free ad campaign for 100 local merchants

Dear Readers,

Let’s face it, 2020 has been a bit of a crappy year. Still, it doesn’t need to end with a “bah humbug”. We have decided to inject a little seasonal joy as the year comes to an end.

In an effort to support both residents and local merchants this holiday season here at The Bench News we are launching two initiatives:

  1. A Christmas lights contest where some valuable prizes will be awarded to three winning homes from West Niagara, and…
  2. A free advertising program for 100 local merchants to keep their brand top of mind and encourage everyone to shop locally this holiday season.

We won’t let the worldwide pandemic ruin all the holiday fun, at least not if we have anything to say about it.

So, here are all the details for what we have planned…

West Niagara Residential Christmas Lights Contest

Decorate your house with your usual Christmas spirit, but this year, you might win a prize in the first annual Bench News Christmas Lights Competition.

Any home that’s decorated in Christmas lights in Grimsby, Lincoln, West Lincoln, Wainfleet, or Pelham can either self-nominate or be nominated by a friend or neighbour. We will start accepting nominations from Dec. 1 and close the registration on Dec. 16. Our contest application will be posted by Dec. 1.

But, we need help spreading the word. There are more households than ever this year that could use some extra Christmas cheer (we mean money and/or gift cards). We’re also looking for business sponsors to help us amplify the merriment, get some extra exposure for their brand, and act as our contest judges.

Sponsors will contribute to prizes. Participating businesses will also get to judge the contest. Their brand will be promoted on the contest pages at, as well as, receive a promotional ad placement around contest entries.

Share this article to help spread the word.

Contest entry details will be posted by Dec. 1 2020 here at

Click here to receive an email when contest details are available

Free Advertising for Local Merchants

Recently there have been numerous efforts to revive the economy after the shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic such as The Big Spend, Ontario’s new product directory, and other local shopping spree contests.

To continue to encourage people to buy locally this season, The Bench News will offer free ad placements to 100 local businesses until Dec. 31 in our online marquee and at various places around our site. Each business that qualifies will receive for free:

  • A minimum 20,000 ad impressions on between now and Dec 24, a $250 value.
  • Your business will be featured on a “buy local” page mentioning holiday promotions and discounts ($100 value).
  • And your awesome holiday offers will get shout-outs until Dec 24 2020 on our social media pages and weekly email news (sign up here ) – a $150+ value.

The Bench News is West Niagara’s fast-growing and already largest online news and information resource. Our site currently receives 60,000 page views per month and growing (and looks like 80,000 pv in Nov.).

Find out how to claim your free promotional tools…click here

To pass this info on to a local merchant you love, please share this article.

Why is Bench News launching these initiatives?

We built The Bench News to fill a gap in our community. When our family moved here one year ago, we noticed daily online news and events coverage was desperately needed. This became apparent when we couldn’t find useful information on our area about COVID-19. It was time we used our expertise to fix that.

Our vision has always been to be run The Bench News as a traditional media establishment that is fact-based, free of bias, and non-partisan. We also envisioned it as a platform to inform and strengthen ties within and between neighbouring communities of West Niagara.

So with these two holiday initiatives, we aim to continue to support the communities we serve. Especially during this time. We also want to continue to spread the word about Bench News so more people know we exist.

We are grateful to all the readers and businesses who support us. We’ve been astonished by the acknowledgments we’ve received from many of you so far. Thank you in advance for helping us spread the word and make this Christmas a little merrier for all of West Niagara.

In the spirit of the season,

Andy and Kay
The Bench News

P.S. You are bound to have questions so you can email Kay about these inititatives to ensure you get the latest details as we publish them. Reach her at