Economic triage campaign for downtown Kzoo shops earn $70k in gift cards

A downtown Kalamazoo business support campaign raised $70,000 in less than a work week for the retail and restaurant industry, a last minute sales push as local shops close or restrict operations due to the risk of spreading COVID-19 and a subsequent Michigan governor’s executive order.

The Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership (KDP) said it sold out of 2,000 gift cards for which the neighborhood economic development organization added $10 for every $25 card purchased. 

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“In total, more than 650 individuals purchased 2,000 gift cards across nearly 70 downtown businesses, bringing $70,000 directly into the downtown economy,” KDP wrote on its website.

Though KDP is sourcing funds for a prospective follow up round, this isn’t a long term solution.

“The Downtown Gift Card Stimulus Program was meant to be a nimble, short-term intervention to help businesses with a modest bridge to additional resources that are in the works at the Federal, State, and local levels,” said KDP President Andrew Haan.


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