Downtown Kalamazoo Gift Card Stimulus Program grosses $35K, program adding another 1000 gift cards
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 20, 2020
Contact: Meghan Behymer | Communications + Marketing Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 269-344-0795
In less than 72 hours, more than 350 community members purchased 1,000 gift cards for downtown businesses through the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership’s Gift Card Stimulus Program, which adds $10 to any $25 gift card purchased for a downtown business. Due to the overwhelming response of support for downtown businesses, the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership is extending the program, doubling its investment by offering $10 bonuses for another 1,000 gift cards.
The program launched Tuesday, March 17, following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s announcement that all bars and restaurants would be closed to eat-in service. The initiative was part of a series of four initiatives the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership rolled out Tuesday to provide immediate and direct support for downtown businesses in the wake of COVID-19.
As of 9 a.m. Friday, March 20, a total of 905 gift cards had been purchased by more than 330 individuals across 52 different downtown businesses. By noon, purchases had reached Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership’s goal of 1,000 gift cards, bringing $35,000 directly to downtown businesses.
“At the end of last week, as we started to see the impact of COVID-19, our team dropped everything and refocused 100% of our efforts toward generating ideas to support downtown businesses during this time,” said Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership President Andrew Haan. “Our goal was to put cash directly in the hand of downtown businesses as quickly as possible, and our community really stepped up to the challenge. We’re overwhelmed by the response and thrilled to be able to commit resources to double that investment in our downtown economy. Supporting our local businesses is more important than ever during this time.”
The Partnership committed to purchasing gift cards for customers in the amount of $25 to a downtown business of their choice, AND to adding an additional $10 to that amount from the organization. Individuals purchased anywhere from one gift card to a total of 20. The Partnership is mailing all gift cards directly to each customer as health officials recommend individuals practice social distancing and limit unnecessary trips.
The Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership encourages residents everywhere to support the local businesses in their community by ordering take-out, purchasing gift cards, shopping online, making phone orders, and remembering to tip generously.
Additional Business Support Initiatives
During this unprecedented time in history, the Partnership is committed to supporting downtown businesses and has worked ceaselessly to develop a series of immediate actions, outlined below, to help put cash in the pockets of Downtown restaurants and retailers.
Downtown Kalamazoo Dedicated Curbside Pick-up Stations
The Partnership has partnered with the City of Kalamazoo to identify 16 dedicated curbside pick-up locations where patrons will be able to drive up, idle and await take-out and pick-up orders from Downtown restaurants and retailers. Stations are deployed throughout downtown and marked with cones.
Marketing & Promotion of Downtown businesses during COVID-19
The Partnership communications team is launching a series of digital media campaigns to encourage customers to support Downtown restaurants and retailers, even as policies and precautionary measures limit patrons from visiting Downtown. Campaigns will encourage audiences to order take-out, purchase gift cards, shop online, make phone orders, and tip generously, as well as highlight each Downtown business offering those, and similar, services.
For the remainder of 2020, the Partnership will waive all administrative fees for businesses related to Downtown Dollars. Businesses will get 100 percent of Downtown Dollars submitted, and the Partnership will absorb all administrative costs.
As an organization, the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership recognizes the long-term effects of COVID-19 on downtown Kalamazoo businesses. The above steps are just the beginning – the Partnership will continue to work with government actors and philanthropic partners to identify impactful ways to provide direct business support.
About Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership
Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership is a private, non-profit organization that works with both the public and private sectors in preserving and enhancing the economic health of Kalamazoo’s downtown area and, in turn, the Kalamazoo community. In conjunction with its affiliate organizations, it manages a full range of activities that include capital improvement projects, business development and recruitment programs, image marketing and event planning in order to establish Downtown Kalamazoo as an accessible, diverse, green, progressive and vibrant urban center. For more information, visit downtownkalamazoo.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.