Gift card stimulus program aims to boost Bay County's economy

Buying a gift card to a local business could extend your budget and help the economy.

The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and Bay Future Inc. partnered with investors to develop Buy BC, a gift card-stimulus program. The program opened on June 3 and gift cards are still available, said Ryan Tarrant, Bay Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO.

Here’s how it works. Click here to shop for service, retail, and restaurant gift cards. Find the business you want and click on it to buy a card. Buyers will pay $20 for a gift card worth $25.

More than 60 local businesses registered for the program. At 5 p.m. Wednesday, more than 4,500 cards become available for purchase. The program is first-come, first-serve, so when the cards run out, the opportunity ends. Gift cards can be used for one year beginning June 12.

The program should inject more than $125,000 into the local economy.

“It’s critical that we find every avenue available to be able to support the small businesses in our community,” said Trevor Keyes, Bay Future Inc. president and CEO. “Many of the businesses being impacted by this pandemic are those who help create our local quality of life and make Bay County the unique place it is to live, work, and play.”

Sponsors for the program include AT&T, Bay City Bridge Partners, Bay County Growth Alliance, Gordon Food Services, Great Lakes Bay Regional Wellness Alliance, and US Foods.