A recent collaboration between the City of Perry and Perry Chamber of Commerce to develop a local relief program has proven successful, creating a win-win for stimulating the local economy. To date, 4,106 gift cards have been sold through the Perry Pride Business Booster, which has translated to $124,240 collectively sent to 45 businesses over the last five weeks. Grant funding from the City has supplemented the program, enabling the Chamber to provide gift cards for purchase at a discounted rate, which so far has totaled $41,325 in savings for individuals purchasing the gift cards. With funding still available, the program will be extended for an additional five weeks, through June 30.

With the exception of a business purchasing a number of $50 gift cards for just $35 as gifts to their employees, all other gift cards have been sold for $20 with a redeeming value of $30 - providing a $10 bonus for purchasers. While purchasers receive a discount as an incentive to participate in the program, there is no cost to the businesses, thanks to City funding.

“The Perry Pride Business Booster program was designed to benefit businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting Public Health Disaster Declaration from the State of Iowa,” said Lynsi Pasutti, Executive Director of the Perry Chamber of Commerce. “It also provided an incentive to shop local with the perk of a discount. We have seen such a great response to the program from individual purchasers and such a positive impact on local businesses. We look forward to extending the program because we know the need for it remains as businesses slowly reopen.”

As with any gift card purchase, payment takes place ahead of time, with the purchaser or giftee redeeming the value at a later date. In this case as a relief program, the prepayment of products and services has provided much needed cashflow to Perry businesses that have been temporarily closed or operating with restrictions. Purchasers are reminded that they should wait one week from purchase to redeem the gift cards to allow time for payment to businesses. No physical gift cards are presented to purchasers, but the automated email receipts should be saved as a proof of purchase and later presented to the businesses at check out. Each week, along with payment, businesses are provided a list of purchasers as verification.

In addition to extending the length of the program to June 30, the daily limit of gift cards available will be expanded. The previous 20 available per business per day will jump to 30 for the remainder of the program, still reloaded daily at 12 p.m. The $2,000 purchase limit per person/household per business will continue. If any of the City’s matching funds remain at the end of the program, it will be rolled into a business grant fund. Donations to support the grant fund are currently being accepted by the Perry Chamber Foundation through the online gift card platform or via the Perry Chamber of Commerce at PO Box 472.

A complete list of participating businesses can be found at http://perry-chamber.square.site. Gift card purchases are to be completed online, with the exception of businesses purchasing as gifts for their employees or for those that do not have access to online payments, in which case mailing a check is acceptable.

For more information on the Perry Pride Business Booster, contact the Perry Chamber of Commerce at perrychamber@perryia.org or (515)465-4601.