Prince Rupert businesses boosted by online gift card buying program

Nearly $8,000 in gift cards purchased through Support Local BC for Prince Rupert businesses

In April 2020, Northern Development partnered with Support Local BC to promote the online purchase of gift cards from Love Northern BC businesses. Over a two month period, more than $20,000 in gift cards were purchased in Love Northern BC communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Support Local BC website was launched in March to provide businesses with a way to earn revenue even if they need to close or were offering adapted services.

The benefits of the Support Local BC program spread far beyond the individual businesses. The communities support the locally owned businesses that employ their friends and neighbours and provide everyone with something to look forward to as B.C. continues with its reopening plan.

“Prince Rupert’s small businesses are well-known for supporting the community’s many fundraisers, sports teams and events,” said Paul Vendittelli, manager of transportation and economic development, City of Prince Rupert. “This program provided an opportunity for our residents to return the favour in these hard times, and we are very proud of the results we have achieved.”

Participating Prince Rupert businesses have been feeling strong support from existing and new customers. As of June 26, 282 gift cards have been sold online, bringing $7,795 in new revenue to local shops. For Opa Sushi, they have been positively overwhelmed by the support during these challenging times and are grateful for the 66 gift cards that people have purchased so far.

“Support Local BC was just what we needed!” said Kristi Farrell, owner, Opa Sushi. “Not only was the program a boost to our local economy during the pandemic but it also showed small businesses like ours the love and care customers and community had for keeping us going.”

For Good Times Games and Electronics, another Prince Rupert-based business, the support has also been humbling and inspiring. In two months, they received $1,475 through the sale of 56 gift cards on the Support Local BC platform.

“Success can be measured in many ways but being able to endure the current state of the COVID-19 world has to be considered a success in itself,” said Rob Gruber, owner, Good Times Games. “Support Local BC has been vital for us. Customers purchasing gift certificates for future use not only shows their trust in our commitment to make it through this, but their support also acts as encouragement for all of us at Good Times, telling us we are appreciated, special and a vital component to the business community here.”

Northern Development’s partnership with Support Local BC allows Support Local BC to absorb the payment processing fees, meaning that participating businesses receive the full value of the gift certificate that is purchased. This contributes to their cash flow at a time when businesses need it most.

While supplies last, people who purchase a minimum of $25 from any Love Northern BC business will receive a $25 credit that can be used on the Support Local site for an additional purchase from LNBC. Maximum of one per order and per customer.

   
Happy guests at Good Times Games (left) and Opa Sushi.
Photo credit: Love Northern BC