Beginning today (Nov. 7), gift certificates in $10 and $25 increments can be purchased at the Chamber office, 16 S. Jackson St., and may be used at approximately 100 local businesses.
Chamber Executive Director Tammy Amor suggested the new gift certificate program is perfect for rewarding employees or co-workers, the paperboy or your beautician, or just gifting family and friends.
Unlike traditional gift card purchases, the money spent on Chamber Gift Certificates will stay in the local community.
"We're hoping that rather than buying gift cards, people will purchase gift certificates and support our local businesses," Amor said, adding that online purchases likewise only take money out of the community.
Unlike the way the recent Buy Local Bucks were redeemed, businesses receiving gift certificates will be able to immediately get a check from the Chamber after bringing the used certificates to the Chamber office, Amor said.
The gift certificate system works like this: A person or business wanting to buy gift certificates comes to the Chamber office and selects the proper monetary increments. The recipient then uses the gift certificates at Chief's or Bright Futures or the Banner Graphic, for example, and then those businesses redeem the used certificates at the Chamber office and are repaid immediately by check.
"We hope it's a big success and people will think of their employees and their co-workers," Amor said.
Although it is debuting in time for the holidays, the Chamber Gift Certificate program will be a continuous effort.
"You can come in next July and get a gift certificate," Amor said. "The Chamber makes no money off this program. It's just about buying local and investing in the community."
She said the recent Buy Local Bucks program exceeded all expectations. The Chamber ran out of Buy Local Bucks in just two months.
They are still being redeemed and need to be used by Dec. 31, Amor reminded.
Buy Local Bucks were distributed to owners of new energy-efficient items through the RISE grant and the assistance of Vectren, Chamber Past President Laurie Hardwick noted.
Putnam County residents invested in the following items to earn those Buy Local Bucks: Refrigerators, 29; dishwashers, 19; washers, 17; televisions, 14; furnaces/cooling systems, 4; freezers and air conditioners, 3; and windows, 2.
Meanwhile, the Chamber will also have two upcoming Buy Local Christmas season promotional opportunities, including a special Black Friday Buy Local paid advertising insert in the Banner Graphic on Monday, Nov. 21, and a 24 Buy Local Days of Christmas effort in which each day Dec. 1-24 will feature a particular Chamber member's special promotion.
There will be no cost to participants in the 24 Buy Local Days of Christmas, Amor noted.
Businesses just need to be one of the first 24 to sign up and agree to have a special in-store promotion on their particular day. To sign up, persons need to call the Chamber office at 653-4517 ASAP. Days will be determined on a first-come, first-served basis.