Keeping local dollars in the community: New gift cards from Downtown Farmington aim to do just that

What’s happening: Downtown Farmington has found a new way to support their small business community and just in time for the holiday shopping season. It’s the Downtown Farmington Gift Card, redeemable at 19 participating locally-owned businesses.

Why it’s important: The Downtown Farmington Gift Card provides local business owners another tool in their belt as they look to attract customers this holiday shopping season. The COVID-19 pandemic hurt small businesses in a number of ways, from shutdowns to staffing shortages to changes in shopping behavior; the pandemic triggered a shift to even more people shopping online at mega-retailers like Amazon. A community-specific gift card could help keep more of the community’s dollars within the community itself.

Who’s participating: As of now, there are 19 participating businesses in the Downtown Farmington Gift Card program, including bars, restaurants, retailers, and more. The full list includes: 1up Arcade Bar; All About Women's Health; Basement Burger Bar; Beyond Juice; Bodhi Yoga; Cheese Lady Farmington; Clothes Encounters; Dagwood's Deli; Dearborn Music; Downtown Farmington; Farmington Brewing Company; Farmington Civic Theater; KickstART Farmington; Kitchen Creations; M&D Flowers; Shish Cuisine; Sidecar Slider Bar Farmington; The Vines Flower & Garden Shop; and Tolonen Family Pet.

How it works: The Downtown Farmington Gift Cards are available to purchase online and can be sent to recipients via text or email. There are no physical gift cards; gift cards are redeemed either electronically or can be printed to paper. Gift cards are offered in $5, $25, $50, and custom amounts. Volume discounts are available for gift card purchases totaling $1,000 or more.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.