St. John Valley Chamber of Commerce
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I. Program Summary
a. The Madawaska Small Business Boost Program is designed to create a stimulus program for COVID-19 affected small businesses in Madawaska. The St. John Valley Chamber of Commerce will be administering this program. The program funds are coming from the Town of Madawaska’s UDAG fund. The Town is appropriating $10,000 to be used in this program. The St. John Valley Chamber will be selling $50 gift certificates to any one of the businesses who opt-in to the program. The cost of the gift certificate will be $25, with the other $25 coming from the appropriated funds. On a weekly basis, the Chamber will be disbursing checks for the funds raised for each business. Each certificate purchased will give the business $50. The idea is to put immediate money into the hands of businesses on a weekly basis to assist them through the current economic hardship we are facing.
a. Businesses MUST Opt-In to participate in the program.
i. To opt-in, please contact Sharon Boucher at the Chamber of Commerce
(207-728-7000) or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
ii. Businesses will have up until April 18th to opt-in to this program. Not all businesses are automatically set up. Please be ready to provide us with your name, your business name, and general contact information. There is no cost to take part of this program!
b. In order to be considered an eligible business, you must:
i. Be a business which is DIRECTLY affected by COVID-19
ii. Be a business located in Madawaska or St. David
iii. Be a business that approves of having our “generic” gift certificates used in their establishment
III. Gift Certificate Information
a. For this program, we will be using a generic gift certificate designed by the Chamber and Town of Madawaska.
b. When a request for purchase of a gift certificate comes in, the Chamber will be filling out the name of the person purchasing the certificate and fill in the name of the business they wish to purchase the certificate for.
c. There is a limit of 4 certificates per household – You can purchase multiple certificates for one business or split them up to various businesses if you choose.
d. All gift certificates issued during this program will expire on 12/31/2020. There will be no refunds issued after purchase.
e. If for any reason certificates are purchased for a business that had to close permanently before the certificate was able to be used, the Town of Madawaska and the Chamber of
Commerce will refund ONLY the purchase price ($25) of the certificate. After 12/31/2020 – there will be no refunds accepted, as the certificates will have expired.
f. For Business Owners: In the event that a customer does not use all the $50 certificate in one visit – it is up to the business to decide how to manage the balance. Some ideas may be to cross of the $50.00 amount and write in the remaining balance or transfer the balance to your standard gift certificate/card. The Chamber will not have the ability to alter certificates once purchased.
IV. Purchasing a Certificate
a. Sales of Gift Certificates will start on April 20, 2020. All purchases can be made through the St. John Valley Chamber of Commerce.
b. There is a limit of 60 gift certificates to be sold to one business. The goal of the program is to help as many of the small businesses as possible.
c. Purchase of gift certificates can be made in 2 different ways:
i. Credit/Debit Cards will be accepted. Since we are still practicing social distancing, any credit/debit card purchase will have to be made over the phone by calling the St. John Valley Chamber of Commerce at 207-728-7000 and providing credit card information. Please be ready to provide your name, address, the amount of gift certificates needed (limit 4 per household), and the business/businesses you would like to support. The Chamber will take payment and send out the certificate(s) via regular mail.
ii. Payment of cash or check will also be accepted. In the envelope, please provide $25 cash or a check for $25 made out to St. John Valley
Chamber of Commerce. Please be sure to include the following information
1. Name of person purchasing certificate(s)
2. Number of certificates requested (limit 4 per household)
3. Name of business or businesses being supported
4. Return mailing address and contact information (phone # & e-mail address)
Envelopes can be mailed to the St. John Valley Chamber of Commerce at 356 Main Street Madawaska, ME 04756. They can also be placed in the drop box outside of the Chamber at this address.
iii. Once payment is received via check or cash, the Chamber will issue the certificate(s) and send them via mail.
V. Disbursement of Funds
a. On a weekly basis, the St. John Valley Chamber of Commerce will issue checks to each of the businesses taking part in the program. The checks will be for the FULL VALUE of the certificates sold during the previous week.
i. Checks will be mailed to the businesses and will be written up to the business name or business owner.
ii. Checks will be issued until all funds have be depleted. The Chamber of Commerce and Economic & Community Development office will alert all businesses once the funds are depleted, so the business is aware that the program has ended.
VI. Advertisement & Promotion of the Program
a. The Town of Madawaska and St. John Valley Chamber of Commerce will advertise and promote the Madawaska Small Business Boost Program to the public via Facebook, Town of Madawaska and Chamber websites, Fiddlehead Focus, Radio and WAGM news.
b. The Town of Madawaska and Chamber of Commerce will promote the program but will NOT be promoting specific businesses. Once rolled out, businesses are encouraged to reach out to their specific customer base using our advertisements/promotions.
a. Any businesses or individuals who are interested in donating to the project can reach out directly to the Chamber of Commerce. Sponsors will have the opportunity to receive their names and logos on the promotion of this program. All the money donated will go directly into the fund balance, which would make available more gift certificates.
The Madawaska Small Business Boost Program was created to assist our local small businesses during this tough time. It’s also a great way to help our local consumers – by offering these certificates at a reduced price. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out.
St. John Valley Chamber of Commerce
Sharon Boucher – Director
E-mail: email@example.com your paragraph here.