Dillon approves gift card stimulus program to support local businesses
Dillon is set to launch its new stimulus program at the end of the month to encourage residents to patronize participating businesses around town.
The Dillon Town Council unanimously approved a resolution establishing the program during a regular meeting Tuesday, Feb. 2. The resolution allows the town to enter into an agreement with Yiftee — the same company that facilitated Frisco’s Love Frisco, Shop Frisco program — to provide $50 in gift cards to residents and businesses in town.
“I think this is going to be a good, different approach to a stimulus for our businesses, sort of getting people out there multiple times to different businesses,” Mayor Carolyn Skowyra said. “I think this is going to be a positive for the town of Dillon.”
While officials reached a consensus on $50 during a work session last month, the more nuanced details of how the program would ultimately work were still up in the air. Kerstin Anderson, Dillon’s marketing and communications director, led council members through a discussion on the concept during the Tuesday meeting and provided options for its launch.
Council members previously had discussed breaking the gift cards into smaller increments, sending recipients five $10 cards to encourage people to spend at a variety of businesses. But with Yiftee charging 50 cents per card, plus 3% of the card’s value, the smaller increments would have ballooned the town’s price tag by about $20,000.
The council ultimately decided to send recipients two $25 gift cards, which will cost the town about $66,000 total. Still, officials are hoping to find a way to ensure people aren’t spending it all on one purchase.
“Maybe we can just ask the restaurants to only accept one at a time,” council member Steve Milroy said. “It’s in their best interest to only accept one. So even though we can’t necessarily enforce it, we can tell restaurants when we give them the authorization code that we’re hoping they’ll only accept one at a time because that will encourage repeat business. That’s good for them and part of the reason I think these cards are a good idea.”
Anderson said the cards would be easy to use for local businesses, which would have to enter a one-time authorization code to use them. The cards will be sent electronically to 1,200 residents, business owners and employees in town. Anderson said she expects to launch the program the last week in February and that the cards likely would expire around mid-June. The town would recoup 90% of any unused funds.
Residents will be able to register for the cards at TownOfDillon.com in about two weeks, Anderson said. The town will be verifying resident information before sending the cards.
“We were hoping we’d be more back to normal by June and this would carry us through that shoulder season,” Anderson said. “…It’s good for our residents, it’s pride in our community, and it’s a nice stimulus bump for our small businesses.”
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