The Gift Card Program that Benefits Your Local Business Community
In this challenging period of Covid-19 Gift Card USA has pivoted our emphasis on helping merchants thrive to helping merchants survive. Entire towns have seen their main streets go from being a success one day to virtual ghost towns the next. As businesses begin to reopen, they see new challenges with all types of roadblocks from curbside pickup only to restrictions on indoor occupancy. Much of the general population are still nervous to venture out yet they want to support the local businesses that they have loved over the years. It is a dilemma in need of a solution. We have created a program which helps to solve this problem by quickly pumping money, through the hands of individuals, into the businesses that need assistance the most – Main Street USA.
The federal government has funded the CARES (Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act) Act and earmarked billions of dollars as grants directly to local governments. Other grants have been made available by state governments. Localities can claim their share of this money as long as they have a legitimate plan to disburse the funds quickly to small businesses who need the money the most.
Here is a brief simplified explanation of how the program works broken down into 4 main categories:
Your Town Management
- Your town manager will develop a program which works best for your local situation and apply for the CARE grant from the federal government.
- You will decide how much to load onto each gift card and for what period of time your program will run until cards are deactivated.
- From your website you will explain the program and have short sign up forms for both businesses and for every eligible family to complete a simple one-page form noting that they want to participate and provide proof that they are actually a resident of your town.
- Based upon the criteria that you select businesses will join the program and we will set them up with either or both our free easy to use Virtual Terminal and our Phone App (IOS and Android) so that they can accept the cards from the residents.
- To eliminate processing errors we will only activate the Redeem and Card Balance features.
- Then when residents make a purchase in their business using the gift card they will simply enter the card number or scan the bar code and the amount of the sale in the Virtual Terminal or Phone App to complete the sale.
- Once per week we will ACH the total funds into the designated bank account provided by the business at the time of signup.
- Residents who would like to participate in the program need to complete a short one-page application and provide proof that they are eligible residents of your town or city.
- Once they receive their cards in the mail they simply need to check the list of participating businesses that you will post on your website. When visiting the business they simply present their card for redemption on purchased products and services. They can spend all of the funds at one business or use partially redeemed cards at another favorite business until the card balance is zero. For purchases over the value of the card balance they will pay the business the difference themselves.
Gift Card USA / The Processor
- We will print up custom gift cards to your specifications using artwork that you provide that represents your town and preload the cards with a set amount (ex- $100.00 per family).
- We will ship the cards to you and activate them once they are received by you or on a set date once the program is set to begin.
- We will process the cards in real-time and provide you with valuable real-time online reporting.
- We will provide an online balance checker for use by yourself and residents.
- On a weekly basis we will transfer the funds from a checking account that you establish at your business bank into the business checking account of each merchant based upon the sales of the previous week.
If you believe that your Town or City can benefit from our program than please complete the I Want More Info Form. We will contact you promptly within 24 hours to discuss your needs and present to you a custom proposal including pricing.
A Real World Program
Just like thousands of other towns and cities in the United States, The City of Edinburg, with a population of just over 100,000 residents in Hidalgo County Texas, saw their thriving local business community experience a sudden decline in business due to Covid-19. When the federal government announced the CARE Act to assist local businesses like theirs, they jumped at the chance and was awarded a multimillion-dollar grant. Their City Manager found our special Gift Card Program just like you have and the City Council voted unanimously to approve $2.5 million dollars to help support the recovery efforts of the local economy. Half to be allocated as a grant directly to qualifying businesses impacted by business closures and half as individual assistance to eligible residents of the City of Edinburg to be used within a designated time frame at businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic. In less than one week we had everything in motion to launch their S.P.A.R.C. (Stimulus Program Aimed at Recovery from COVID) Program.
We quickly produced 12,500 custom gift cards preloaded with $100.00 each. Business owners were thrilled to sign up in anticipation of a quick infusion of cash into their struggling businesses and local residents couldn’t wait until they could visit their favorite local stores and restaurants with free money in hand plus other funds they would spend in addition. Their program is designed to last for just 6 weeks as the goal was to jump start the local economy quickly. It has been gratifying for us to help in this endeavor.
To see how the City of Edinburg presented the program to their businesses and residents with the necessary signup forms please visit https://cityofedinburg.com/sparc/index.php.