PCDC Gift Card Program Generates $52,000 in 10 Days
15 Apr 2020
In the first 10 days of PCDC’s Magic Multiplier gift card program, local residents purchased more than $52,000 in gift certificates to more than 60 Phelps County businesses.
With PCDC matching gift card sales, that means more than $100,000 was infused into the local economy giving area businesses a boost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“PCDC is overwhelmed by the community's positive response to the program, and we see it as emblematic of our culture - we take care of each other,” PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery said.
The Phelps County Development Corporation distributed the first wave of Magic Multiplier matching funds at a drive-thru pick-up “parade” on April 15 in front of the City of Holdrege building. PCDC gave out checks totaling $52,788 to 61 businesses in Holdrege, Loomis, Bertrand and Atlanta. The public was invited to drive by, honk, clap and help celebrate businesses and the generosity of the community.
In the gift card program launched on April 1, PCDC doubled the value of every gift card purchased at Phelps County businesses to help the business owners. If a customer purchased a $50 gift card, the business owner received $100 ($50 from PCDC and $50 from the customer).
The Phelps County Community Foundation also matched gift card purchases with its funds going to the Phelps County Disaster Relief Fund to help people with basics needs such as food, medical prescriptions, rent and utilities.
The Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce partnered by creating an online gift-card purchasing platform on its website.
“The program was established to act as a bridge from the time when businesses had to curtail their operations due to government imposed restrictions and the arrival of federal assistance checks,” Tillery said.
Each business owner could receive up to a $1,000 match for each two-week check cycle in April. The Magic Multiplier incentive was made possible by PCDC redirecting $75,000 of its LB840 funds.
The funds were nearly depleted in the first two weeks of the program as Phelps County residents generously supported local businesses from restaurants and salons to coffee shops, clothing stores and massage studios. The gift card matching program will end once the remaining funds are gone, which will likely be before the end of the next cycle that ends April 24.
Farm Bureau Financial Services in Holdrege purchased gift cards from area businesses and then donated them to local healthcare workers at six facilities, including Phelps Memorial Health Center, Phelps Medical Group, Family Medical Specialties, ruralMed Management Resources, Christian Homes Care Community and Holdrege Memorial Homes.
Monica Ehlers, owner of E-Klips Salon in downtown Holdrege, had to close her salon temporarily in early April due to the directed health measure issued by Two Rivers Public Health Department. However, many customers immediately started purchasing gift certificates for future services or products.
“The gift certificate sales exceeded my expectations because of PCDC’s generous program,” Ehlers said.
She said the program encouraged local residents to buy gift certificates for services they had already budgeted into their spending and helped them feel like they were doing something to help in this crisis.
She also praised PCDC’s efforts to encourage shopping local.
“Thank you to PCDC for the opportunity to participate in this amazing gift certificate match,” Ehlers said. “Thank you to everyone who purchased gift certificates from all of our Phelps County small businesses. It shows awesome support for shop local.”
The Phelps County Development Corporation works together with investor partners to grow a vibrant Phelps County economy. PCDC’s work includes attracting residents, recruiting new and retaining existing businesses and manufacturers, securing a quality workforce and promoting Phelps County as a great place to live, work and conduct business. PCDC is funded through private investors supplemented by program income from LB840, approved by voters, which directs city sales tax proceeds to economic development.