Prepaid gift card targets community loyalty

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on December 5, 2005

Prepaid gift card targets community loyalty

A new community gift card programme has launched to support the economic development of and citizen loyalty to the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, USA. The card enables its recipients to buy from nearly fifty participating local establishments, effectively getting consumers to shop local and boost the local economy.

The gift card was the idea of Lehigh Valley residents Dan Barnes and Stacey Scholl of Bethlehem's Membership Services Corporation. Both believe the card is a good way to make local residents aware of speciality shops and businesses in the area. The card's preloaded value can be spent at any of the participating merchants. Used like a debit card, the Lehigh Valley Gift Card buyer simply places any amount of money on the plastic card, and the recipient can spend it locally.

Local reinvestment But the key idea is that the card reinvests 100% of the gift value in the local business community rather than funnelling local money out into national chain stores. In essence, the card provides local businesses with a chance to compete with larger retailers on the coveted holiday season gift card territory.

The card also supports local charities, with 1% of all gift card sales being donated to the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, which distributes the donations to local charities. Other charities that help promote the sale of the gift card will also receive 1% of gift card sales.

The cards are being sold through participating retailers, as well as through the card's own web site, and Sovereign Bank's Lehigh Valley branches.

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