DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

SCUGOG: The Port Perry Business Improvement Association (BIA) ran a successful gift card program in May.
Early this month, the local BIA announced their program raised almost $25,000 for businesses in Port Perry’s downtown core.
“A handful of the businesses sold out in the first couples of days with others following shortly after. The Port Perry community expressed appreciation for the program, as it allowed them to support their favourite local shops and restaurants without leaving home,” read a press release from the BIA.
In May, residents were encouraged to purchase gift cards for, and from Port Perry’s downtown businesses.
“Businesses that sold gift cards ranged from restaurants and the local brewery to a consignment shop and a fine jewellery store,” the press release explained.
The BIA chipped in by funding 30 per cent of each gift card purchase.
“In order to ensure the money was evenly distributed, the BIA board of directors voted to limit the number of gift cards each business could sell to $1650 with $495 of that paid by the community organization,” stated the BIA press release.
The BIA also explained there was no cost for participating businesses, and those businesses received 100 per cent of the funds from gift card purchases made at their business. The BIA explained this program was created to “provide business owners some revenue to help pay rent and keep the lights on during the COVID-19 pandemic.”