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The Newtown Chamber of Commerce is putting out a call reminding residents and others who enjoy patronizing Newtown businesses that Chamber Newtown Bucks are available in $25 or $50 increments — they make great holiday gifts, stocking stuffers, and are perfect for businesses and organizations that want to send a hyper-localized “thank you” to employees, customers, or volunteers.
The customized and prepaid checks are primarily intended to be used among member businesses, but since they are similar to traveler’s checks, the Chamber Bucks will be honored no matter where they are spent locally, according to Chamber Business Development Director Helen Brickfield.
She also reminded anyone who has received Chamber Bucks in the past, that while they do not expire, they are meant to be spent — not saved.
“Right now we’re looking at (thousands of dollars) in outstanding Chamber Bucks in circulation that haven’t been spent,” Ms Brickfield said. “If people run across them in their drawers, they can also be regifted as long as they’re not already endorsed, or turned over to Newtown Social Services office where they can be used to assist local families in need, or to purchase items in bulk for the food pantry.”
Ms Brickfield met up with The Newtown Bee to talk about the program recently at the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance headquarters, where board member Nancy McLachlan was picking up a box full of Chamber Bucks to present to members and other company VIPs.
“The purpose of the Newtown Bucks program is to promote shopping local in Newtown,” she said. “We started the program years ago to offer Newtown Bucks as a service to our community and in support of local businesses.
Simply, Ms Brickfield said, Newtown Bucks work like a check. Once presented to a shop owner, Newtown Bucks bucks are deposited into the business checking account. Typically, business owners expect bearers of Newtown Bucks to spend them in their full face amount, and many will likely frown on giving cash as change if the full amount is not spent.
Any business in town that may be unsure about accepting Newtown Bucks is asked to give the chamber a call at 203-426-2695 or e-mail the chamber for instructions at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Incoming Chamber President Brian Amy said the Newtown Bucks program was developed to promote more shopping at businesses in Newtown. But he, too is concerned about the hundreds and hundreds of certificates apparently left forgotten by holders or recipients.
“Over the years some recipients of these gift checks seem to have put them aside to shop later, but then forgotten to go to the shops,” he said. “This has created a reserve of unclaimed Bucks.”
He also reminded anyone holding any quantity of the certificates that Newtown Bucks can be “deposited into their local bank and saved for that big shopping day in the future.”
Chamber Administrative Assistant Renia Marini added that the Newtown Chamber is proud to continue to offer this unique program in the community.
“Newtown is bursting with goods and services,” she said. “Bucks recipients can have fun deciding to treat themselves — whether it be chocolates or a salon visit, gardening supplies or tools — Newtown Bucks can help support any whimsy. If you receive Newtown Bucks, treat yourself. I can help you with choosing participating member businesses, or answer any other questions.”
Ms Brickfield said anyone can purchase Newtown Bucks by visiting the chamber offices in the lower level of Edmond Town Hall.
“Just call first at 203-426-2695 or e-mail: email@example.com so we can arrange a purchase time,” she said. “Newtown Bucks are available year-round, but especially around this time of year they are a great way to say thank you, I appreciate you, and happy holidays.”
To learn more about chamber members and services, or to learn about member benefits, visit newtown-ct.com.