JUST IN: ‘Downtown Dollars’ e-card program to launch next week in Dayton

A new electronic gift-card program is set to launch next week that will allow users to spend freely at any of their favorite Dayton businesses using a single card.

This morning, Dec. 3, the Downtown Dayton Partnership announced the creation of an e-gift card program called Downtown Dollars. Going on sale Monday, Dec. 7, the Downtown Dollars cards are designed to keep local dollars with Dayton’s downtown businesses, including restaurants, pubs, shops and other retail services. Downtown Dollars can be purchased and loaded onto a digital e-gift card, and those dollars can be redeemed at participating locations.

The Downtown Dollars card will be accepted at more than 30 participating downtown merchants, and more vendors will be added soon, according to DDP’s website.

“We wanted to create a program that was a simple way for our community to load money into one account but spend at a network of their favorite small businesses in our downtown,” said Sandra K. Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership. “Every time Downtown Dollars are used, we’ll know that money is directly impacting our small businesses in downtown Dayton.”

Beginning Monday, customers can go to the www.downtowndayton.org/dollars to purchase the e-cards for themselves or to send as a gift card in a selected amount. The pre-loaded e-card will then be delivered via email or text message. An option to “print for hand deliver” upon checkout is available.

There is an e-delivery fee of $1, in addition to 5% of the cards’ value, which DDP said supports its technology partner.

Benefits of the program, DDP officials said, include: no monthly inactivity fees; Downtown Dollars balance is listed directly on the card and is updated as it’s used; it’s a great option for a last-minute gift; funds become available immediately after purchasing; and monthly reminders are sent via email or text to remind the user that the Downtown Dollars are available.

A “small inactivity fee” does kick-in if the card is not used after 12 consecutive months, DDP officials said.

Downtown Dollars is a free program for qualifying downtown Dayton businesses, the partnership said. Business owners who are interested in becoming a participating merchant can contact Laura Woeste at woeste@downtowndayton.org, according to DDP’s website.

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