Yonge + St. Clair BIA Introduces a $25,000 Gift Card Stimulus Fund



Yonge + St. Clair BIA Introduces a $25,000 Gift Card Stimulus Fund

Fund will be used to incentivize gift card purchases at participating local businesses through a new online marketplace at SupportYSC.com


TORONTO, April 15, 2020 – In response to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Yonge + St. Clair Business Improvement Area (BIA) has introduced a $25,000 Gift Card Stimulus Fund to encourage local gift card purchases made at SupportYSC.com. Through the Fund, the BIA will match, dollar for dollar, gift card purchases made at participating local businesses. This means consumers would be able to receive gift cards for full value while paying half the price. If fully realized, the Fund would inject $50,000 directly into the local economy.


To facilitate the delivery of the program, the BIA has partnered with GIFTforward (giftforward.co), a social-good organization that operates an online marketplace specifically for gift card purchases to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Here’s how it works:

1.    Customers visit SupportYSC.com to view available gift cards;

2.    Gift cards can be purchased for half the price while supplies last (ie a $50 gift card costs the customer $25, with the BIA contributing the remaining $25);

3.    The participating business then receives the full amount of the gift card (ie $50); and,

4.    Gift cards may then be redeemed by customers after the COVID-19 restrictions on business operations have been lifted, and the participating business is back to normal.

Each participating business is limited to $750 in matched funds ($1,500 in gift card sales) in order to distribute funds to as many businesses as possible. Gift card availability is limited.


“We’re looking for creative solutions to incentivize consumer spending at our local merchants while maintaining social distancing,” said Mackenzie Keast, Executive Director of the Yonge + St. Clair BIA. “This is a win-win for everybody that gets cash in the pockets of local business owners now while offering added value to customers later.”


Rahim Noormohamed, founder of the GIFTforward platform, added “We know that a lot of businesses that have been hit hard by this crisis have zero revenue right now, so we’re on a mission to help some of them make it through by offering them immediate gift card revenue. Partnering with the BIA to support their local merchants through this program is a great way to help us realize that mission.”


So far, 16 businesses in the Yonge + St. Clair BIA are offering gift cards, ranging from restaurants, salons, fashion, fitness studios, and others. More local shops are expected to participate in the program in the coming days, and customers are encouraged to check SupportYSC.com on a regular basis.


About the Yonge + St. Clair BIA
The Yonge + St. Clair Business Improvement Area (BIA) represents 450+ businesses and 90+ property owners in the Yonge + St. Clair community in midtown Toronto, Ontario. Formed in 2018, the BIA strengthens the economic health and livability of the neighbourhood through strategic investments in the public realm, exciting cultural programming, brand awareness, and advocacy on behalf of its members. Learn more at yongestclair.ca

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