Mass. trade group offers marina referral program

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The Massachusetts Marine Trades Association encourages local marinas to participate in the "Stay Local Boat MA" transient referral program, which originally launched in 2009.

The reciprocal program encourages seasonal guests to visit participating destination marinas in exchange for reduced transient dockage rates determined by the number of boats traveling together.

For as little as $50 to $150, participating marinas are given a discount card to hand to every customer and logo placement on two websites: www.staylocalboatma.com and www.boatma.com.

"Designed to promote the concept of 'vacationing at home,' the stay local program keeps boating-related tax dollars local while offering much-needed economic relief to the thousands of friends and families enjoying Massachusetts waters on a typical summer day," the association said.

Last year, the program had 18 participating facilities on the North and South shores, Boston Harbor and Cape Cod. The association said it's confident that the program will grow further this year.

"The stay-local program is not only customer-friendly, it is competitor-friendly. The concept is so simple, yet completely original, at a time when small businesses of every kind are focused inward to survive," said Jack Kent III, association president and the owner of Bayside Marine in Duxbury, Mass., in a statement.

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