CENTREVILLE — Keeping shopping dollars in the community may be more important now than ever before. And community gift cards are a great way to market and promote local businesses as well as to keep local dollars, local.
When Centreville Main Street Manager Carol D’Agostino began researching gift card programs and grants and how they would best benefit the businesses and community, she wanted something easy and low-cost or no-cost for businesses and with no app to download for consumers.
Many area businesses had started gift card programs back in spring when things first closed down due to the pandemic, and after talking to Easton’s Downtown manager about a the program they were using, D’Agostino knew this was something she needed to help offer to Centreville. Businesses were invited to join in the closed loop program that simply allows them to opt-in to the program. Consumers can get in by going through the online portal and then purchase cards anywhere from $5 to $250. The card can be customized with a message and the link sent digitally to the recipient or printed out and gifted.
Two exciting features, the gift card does not expire and only incurs a fee if not used for 12 consecutive months. And if you don’t use it all with one merchant, you can simply use the card again at another participating shop of your choice.
As of Tuesday, there were 16 businesses participating, and the list continues to grow, said D’Agostino.
“If you’re looking for a meaningful gift, you can do something to support a local merchant and say I want to do something to help them thrive and come back stronger next year,” she said.
The cards are also good for employers too who might have done a holiday party, but chose not to because of COVID this year, said D’Agostino. “There is an option to do a bulk ordering, discounts apply over a certain dollar amount, and it is a good way to help the community. Maybe a way to acknowledge your teacher, but you aren’t seeing them in person, you could still gift them and send it electronically.”
Although the holidays are a good time to purchase these cards, the Shop Centreville, Md e-card program will continue sales throughout next year.
5 Things to Know
#1 Visit ShopCentrevilleMd.com to purchase eGift Cards
Give them as gifts or treatment yourself. You have the option to receive the eGift Card by email, text or you can print them out. Each eGift Card is a unique electronic Mastercard® credit card number.
#2 Redeem them at participating Centreville businesses
The Shop Centreville, Md. Community eGift Cards can be used at any location that has signed up for the program. Additional businesses are being added every day!
#3 Use eGift Cards at multiple locations
As long as there is a remaining balance, the card may be used at any participating Centreville location. Participating merchants simply do a key-entry (like a phone order) to complete the transaction.
#4 eGift cards never expire
Shop Centreville, Md. Community eGift Cards don’t expire AND you have to try really hard to get a non-usage fee. For example, if you get an eGift Card now, but don’t start using it until March, your 12 months start from there. Say you don’t use it again until June, the 12-month clock restarts then, and so on.
#5 eDelivery fees are low
The eDelivery fee is $1.00 per card and 5.0% of the total value of the gift amount. The program keeps shopping dollars in our community by benefitting our local businesses!
For info: firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-758-1180, ext. 17