Community gift cards continue to boost local businesses globally

Community gift cards continue to boost local businesses globally

Community gift cards continue to boost local businesses globally

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Community gift cards have always been successful in supporting local small businesses, at the same time providing financial aid to the residents of the town or the city. Importantly, these programs continue to remain very popular as they keep boosting local economies while keeping local dollars local. For instance,

  • In October 2022, a new community gift card program was introduced by Lake Forest, California, to revive local businesses that have been impacted by Covid-19. Under this gift card program, Lake Forest residents will be able to buy a community gift card, at the same time, get another gift card of the same amount completely for free.                                           

The community gift card program was structured to benefit restaurants, hospitality, and other local businesses, and the gift cards under this program can only be redeemed in any Lake Forest business. The residents who sign up for the program will be able to purchase a gift card worth US$25, US$50 or US$100 online and receive a second digital card free of cost. Notably, the city council allocated around US$575,000 for the program, and the program's marketing was put under the assistance of the Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce. However, the resident of the city will be able to access this gift card only during the holidays.

  • Similarly, in October 2022, the city council approved the Colleyville Christmas Gift Card program to provide every household in Colleyville, Texas with a US$35 gift card that can be spent at any participating restaurant or retail outlet in the city. Notably, the city allocated US$480,000 for this gift card program, which is considered part of the city's economic development strategy, thereby helping to boost several businesses in the city. 
  • In August 2022, The Berg Gift Card, a community gift card program of The City of Newberg, Oregon, was introduced to support several small businesses which faced tremendous hardship during the pandemic. Berg Gift Card program, specifically, is a partnership between the Newberg Chamber of Commerce and the Newberg Downtown Coalition and is considered a part of economic investment by the city.
  • Similarly, in October 2022, Ballymena, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, announced to launch Ballymena Gift Card to support local businesses during the Christmas holidays. Under this new local gift card, several businesses such as retail, hospitality, leisure and many more businesses, independent business or national brand, will be benefitted from the program. Only businesses must sign up for this program to accept these gift cards as payment options.

Since Ballymena is one of the famous shopping destinations, this gift card will attract a significant number of regional customers. Notably, this gift card, post-launch, can be accessed by the residents both online and offline. Though the digital version will be available online, the physical version will be available at the town's shopping centers. As more than 70% of the town's businesses are independent, Ballymena Gift Card will provide more shopping choices for the residents.

This gift card program is mainly driven mainly by Ballymena Business Improvement District (BID) and is assisted by the Department for Communities and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. It was observed that around 40% of the online gift cards were purchased outside of the area, and this clearly states that the gift card program will not only lock the money in the town but also bring new money from outside.

  • On the other hand, several companies are also partnering up with local governments to distribute community gift cards in the United States. To do so, DoorDash, an American food ordering and delivery platform partnered with 18 mayors in September 2022 to curb food insecurity in the country. Under its Project Dash program, the firm will provide data to the cities on the food requirement and deliver food to households with lower or no food access.

Notably, DoorDash will provide around US$1 million in Community Credits gift cards to these cities, together with data on food needs. Furthermore, DoorDash will also provide meals for charity through this Project Dash, which is a social impact program of the platform to overcome common barriers to food access.

  • In June 2022, a Connecticut-based start-up company, Giverrang, launched around 300 community gift card programs specific to each city or town in Georgia. These gift card programs are dedicated to supporting local businesses and cannot be spent in top retail chains such as McDonald's or Walmart. Since big retail chains already have the benefit of large resources, these gift cards are aimed particularly at supporting independent businesses.

One can access Giverrang's community gift cards online through each town or city card web page. Those who will buy these gift cards can also ship them to any friend or family member or even go and deliver them in person.                                                                          

  • Yiftee, Inc., a provider of community e-gift cards, announced the introduction of the "Order Desk" capability in its business to restrict money locally. Now, in addition to online sales, Chambers of Commerce, Downtown Associations, Main Streets etc., will be able to sell their branded community e-gift cards to walk-in buyers as well as at public events. This new functionality will act as an add-on for the existing customers of the platform and will allow the recipients only to shop from local shops and restaurants.

With the rise in digitization, more organizations are opting for e-gift cards, and Yiftee's easy-to-use platform for custom community e-gift cards saw strong demand. Currently, around 15,000 businesses in more than 425 cities of the United States use their digital gift card platform either in the form of community gift cards or as single-brand gift cards. Moreover, newer communities are joining Yiftee's platform as it provides the recipients with wider choices of where to spend them. Consequently, PayNXT360 anticipates this new additional "Order Desk" feature will boost community e-gift card sales over the country's four to eight quarters.

To know more and gain a deeper understanding of the global gift card market, click here.

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