DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on small businesses across the country, but the Downtown Dayton Partnership has found a way to fight back.
The DDP has launched its Downtown Dollars Program to drive traffic through more than 50 participating small businesses. Executive director of the DDP, Sandy Gudorf, said the money is easy to buy online and spend downtown, just like a gift card.
“You will get a card electronically. And that card can be used at any downtown business that’s participating.”
Lonnie Sholar, owner of Phoebe’s Cafe in downtown Dayton, said business has slowed down nearly 50 percent since the pandemic started, and he’s looking forward to the exposure that Downtown Dollars can bring to small businesses like his that often get overlooked.
“There’s more small businesses that people don’t even know about. I mean every day I hear [people say they] didn’t even know we’re here, and we’ve been here for years. So just get out and explore. [If] you’re in an office, you wear a mask all day, just get out, you know, support these small businesses and explore your downtown.”
The e-gift cards give community members access to dining, retailers, and even salons. But the best part, said Gudorf, is they’re available just in time to be given as a multi-purpose Christmas gift.
“Treat yourself and buy yourself a Downtown Dollars card, or for that special someone [or] coworkers, [if you’re] just not quite sure what you want to get them, you can buy some Downtown Dollars, and, you know, buy a great gift, but also help our locally owned businesses that need our support.
The gift cards don’t expire or lose value over time. They are currently available on the Downtown Dayton Partnership’s website. To purchase Downtown Dollars, find participating businesses, or sign up to be a participating merchant, click here.