Nevada City Chamber of Commerce launches ‘Yuba Bucks’ gift cards
The Nevada City Chamber of Commerce has launched “Yuba Bucks,” a digital gift card which can be redeemed at a number of Nevada City businesses.
The Nevada City Chamber of Commerce’s executive director, Stuart Baker, said last week that he had previously been looking for a gift card system that would be “easy on merchants and easy to use.”
The “Yuba Bucks” program was created through Yiftee, a company which has worked with organizations such as chambers of commerce, business improvement districts, and city governments to create “community cards,” according to a Dec. 13 news release. This platform, said Baker, had received “rave reviews” in multiple other cities.
“And it’s a great gift, because there are so many options for people,” said Baker.
The digital gift cards are available on Yiftee’s website, which also provides a list of participating businesses. As of Monday, the list included a variety of Nevada City businesses, including spots to buy food and drinks, shops selling clothing and home goods, and entertainment venues.
“It really keeps the money in the community, and that’s the real struggle local merchants have right now,” said Baker, explaining that it is common for people to find something they like at a local store, but ultimately go to an online platform like Amazon to make the purchase.
He explained that the Chamber of Commerce is managing “front end” aspects of the program, such as business participation and providing customer support on that level, while issues beyond that — the “back end” — are managed by Yiftee.
READY TO GO
The first step, getting businesses to join the program, was fairly easy, according to Baker, and 30 businesses came on board within two weeks. He said it had taken some trial and error to ensure the gift cards worked with the businesses’ point-of-sale systems, but that as of last week, any hiccups had been worked out and the “Yuba Bucks” system was ready to go.
When buying a “Yuba Bucks” gift card through Yiftee’s website, people will be able to select an amount to load onto the card and add a custom message, as well as choose a “delivery method” — either having the digital “card” sent directly to its recipient by text message and/or email, or printing it out in order to give them a copy.
Baker explained that, when someone receives a “Yuba Bucks” card by text message or email, they will be able to click a link to display the card on their phone’s screen, which they can present while paying at a participating business. He said people who preferred to print it out could present a copy that way as well.
The person buying the card is charged a fee at the time of purchase — $1.00 plus 5% of the card’s value, according to Yiftee’s website — which covers the cost of the program, said Baker. “So, the retailer gets 100%,” he said.
According to Baker, the Chamber of Commerce pushed to have the card system ready for the holiday season. He said that, “with the supply chain disruptions that are happening across the country and issues with getting a gift on time,” this push to shop locally, rather than online, could provide a solution as people shopped for gifts.
“I think that the region is really quite aware of the importance of buying local, to keep our businesses and community going, and this is a great way to really put some teeth to that commitment that people have,” he said.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at email@example.com
To purchase a “Yuba Bucks” card or for more information, visit:
To contact the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce:
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