Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce launches program to restart the local economy

DOWAGIAC — The Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce will soon offer local shoppers the opportunity to spread their dollars further while supporting the business community.

The chamber is preparing to launch its 2020 BOGO Bounce Back program. For the program, consumers who purchase a $20 Universal Dowagiac Gift Card from the chamber will receive a second $20 gift card free. The chamber’s gift cards can be redeemed at any chamber-member business for payment of merchandise or services. The buy one, get one program will continue until designated funds run out. Gift cards will go on sale to the public once Michigan’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order is lifted and all chamber members have fully reopened.

According to chamber president Kim MacGregor, the program will serve to incentivize an additional cash injection into local businesses that have experienced downturns during this pandemic. It will also reward customers that patronize Dowagiac businesses.

“We saw this program somewhere else and decided to bring it here and make it our own,” MacGregor said. “We wanted to have something to help our businesses come back strong. … You can spend the gift cards [at any chamber business]. You can take it to the grocery store or a restaurant, or you can buy flowers or a gift. This is a great way to support our local businesses, and if you have a limited budget, your $20 is now $40.”

Thirteen donors kicked off the fund last week with a donation of $7,300. The chamber’s goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of this week — a goal MacGregor hopes to surpass. As of Tuesday morning, the chamber had raised more than $8,000 for the program.

Though MacGregor said she is confident that Dowagiac’s business community will survive the COVID-19 due to the ingenuity business owners have shown during the pandemic, she believes the new program will offer a cushion that will help area businesses bounce back from the months they have been closed.

“[The program] will be an influx of capital that will be beneficial,” she said.

With the 2020 BOGO Bounce Back program’s $10,000 goal within reach and restrictions on businesses loosening, MacGregor is hopeful that Dowagiac residents will take advantage of the program and support the business community as it reopens.

“It is so important to support local,” she said. “We want to have a thriving economy, which we had before COVID came to our door. We can get back there, but we need everyone to be a part of that.”

Companies or individuals who would like to partner with the chamber to fuel the program, are encouraged to do so by mailing their contribution to the Chamber at 200 Depot Dr., Dowagiac, making sure to note the contribution is for 2020 BOGO Business Bounce Back.