The Downtown Squamish Business Improvement Association has been brainstorming ways in which we could help local businesses in this trying time.
One of our board members, Eddie Carter of Race & Co, sent over a COVID-19 Gift Card Program that had just been launched in the Okanagan.
That inspired us to do more research and we decided to move forward with creating a similar campaign in Squamish.
The program invites people to buy gift cards from local businesses so the businesses can get the money now, irrespective of whether they are currently open or not.
It also allows businesses that are open to do completely cashless transactions because all customers need to do is to provide the Gift Card Code verbally.
You can purchase a gift card and use it, for example, to pay a local business from whom you are ordering take out. Instead of using your credit card, you can use the gift card. This will also help the businesses save on the credit card fees.
The gift card program is entirely funded by Downtown Squamish BIA. We are even covering the credit card processing fees, and 100% of your purchases go directly back to each business.
We are also doing monthly pay-outs to each business that receives gift card purchases on a monthly basis.
So far, we have had just over $2000 in gift card sales so we feel it has kicked off fairly well.
I’m also happy to report that we are receiving two to three new orders per day for various participating businesses.
We have opened up this campaign for any Squamish business who wants to participate. I encourage businesses to email firstname.lastname@example.org to get help with setting up online stores.
I also urge the community to be part of this program and buy a gift card to support the local businesses. Our local businesses need your support now, more than ever.
Robyn Kelly is the executive director of Downtown Squamish BIA.