Businesses in Mercer County are struggling to survive. Many businesses are forced to stay closed and others are only allowed limited access to their customers. It is fair to say all business in Mercer County have felt the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
“We have been trying to think of a way to help small businesses in Mercer County,” said Toni Preston, Mercer County Chamber of Commerce Board member. “Our stores need access to online shoppers since they can’t open their doors.”
The Chamber of Commerce along with 101 Business Solutions and The Harrodsburg Herald have partnered together to create a solution that can help businesses now.
“The Mercer Chamber of Commerce is providing a free online portal for customers to purchase digital gift cards from businesses,” said Preston. “The money goes directly to the businesses even while they are closed.”
The chamber is allowing businesses to participate according to Jill Cutler, executive director.
“We want to help Mercer County as a whole,” said Cutler. “All local merchants have to do is signup with our Giftfly link or provide their own link to be accessible from the Mercer County Chamber of Commerce website.”
The chamber’s plan to help businesses is three fold:
• Step one- Establish an online gift card system: Through an online company called Giftfly the Chamber will be able to provide online gift cards for all business who sign up.
“They agreed to waive the fees for the Mercer Chamber of Commerce as an affiliate and there is no cost to merchants,” said Cutler. Businesses only need to sign up by clicking this link.
“If a business already has online gift card purchasing they can just provide the Chamber with the link,” said Cutler.
• Step two- Offer a quarantine gift card purchase bonus for customers: Incentives for purchasing future use gift cards during this time are needed. “For example a gift card purchased for $25 would be worth $30 in the store after reopening,” said Cutler.
• Step three- Plan for reopening: We may not have a date but we know one will eventually come. Be ready and The Harrodsburg Herald, 101 Business Solutions and the Mercer Chamber of Commerce are ready to help by planning an opening day Buy Local Block Party.
“This opportunity is open to all businesses in Mercer County, not just chamber members,” said Cutler.
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