Chamber pleased with gift certificate sales

With the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce seeing a record year for gift certificate sales, it looks like many local businesses agreed with their mantra to “Keep your town in business, by keeping your business in town” this past Christmas season.
“I would guess we sold over $20,000 in gift certificates,” Chamber manager Dawn Booth said Monday, adding that amount is a little better than last year but a far cry from when the gift certificate program started in 2000 and sales were in the $2,000-$3,000 range.
“It’s very positive,” she noted. “We had a lot of individuals come in this year that said they’d never heard of the program before, and were very excited we were doing something like this.
“They thought, ‘It’s perfect. It’s simple.’ They can buy a gift certificate here and whoever they give it to can choose where they want to spend it instead of them having to figure that out,” added Booth.
“So a lot of people thought it was very convenient and enjoyed the idea.”
Booth said while individuals bought them to give to their friends and relatives, many of the gift certificates were purchased by local businesses.
One business, for instance, bought close to $10,000 in gift certificates to give to employees while two others bought $3,200 and $2,000 worth, respectively.
Booth noted this year also saw more businesses than ever (50+) participating in the Chamber’s gift certificate program.
“From the business’ point of view, it’s easy and it ensures the money stays in the community,” she remarked.
A complete list of the participating businesses can be found online at www.fortfranceschamber.com/giftcertificates.html
Booth noted businesses not currently part of the program are more than welcome to get involved. There is no charge, but they must be a Chamber member to participate.
The Chamber program also is open to businesses that already offer their own gift certificates, she stressed.
Booth noted the Chamber sells the gift certificates year-round, but they’re mainly promoted—and thus tend to sell more—during the holiday season.
The gift certificates are available in any dollar amount and have no expiration date.
To get gift certificates, or if you’re a business wanting to participate in the program, call Booth at 274-5773.