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Mecklenburg’s gift card match program returns

Mecklenburg County’s Gift Card Match Program has proven to be very successful in helping locally-owned restaurant, retail and service-based businesses make it through the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By offering a dollar-for-dollar match on purchases made, the program has not only served as a stimulus to local businesses, but a stimulus to citizens as they gain a substantial savings when purchasing vouchers through it. For $20, you receive a $40 voucher that is good for one year.

Since the first round launched in May, the program –in combination with consumer support- has infused $244,000 into Mecklenburg County’s small businesses. The county’s Tourism Coordinator, Tina Morgan remarked that when this third round is complete, it will have successfully placed almost a half million dollars into the hands of local businesses.

“That is a significant stimulus. The program is designed to double any investment made to the matching fund, using consumer support,” she said. “We’ve seen that it has served as a major catalyst in driving people to shop local, and that’s the best outcome we could have hoped for.”

The online store will go live for customers to shop on November 17 at 6 p.m. Consumers can visit www.VisitMeckVa.com/ShopLocal and click the store icon to shop. Here, customers will find gift cards to participating businesses in the amount of $20 each. For each card purchased, the program will match it for as long as the matching funds last. So, for $20, you receive a $40 gift card. There will also be a limited number of vouchers available to purchase directly from each chamber, in order to better serve those without internet access.

The program is made possible through a collaboration between the three chambers of commerce (aka Chambers In Action) and Mecklenburg County Tourism, utilizing CARES Funding. The shopping platform for the online store is made possible by Virginia’s Growth Alliance, a regional economic development group, who had the site developed for retail businesses to use for free.