Local Businesses Cash In on Downtown Dollars
LTTA says Downtown Dollars is a good way to support local businesses.
The Downtown Dollars program in Lawrenceville was implemented in 2007 after the staff of The Lawrenceville Visitors Center observed similar successful programs in other nearby communities in Georgia.
Downtown Dollars is a gift certificate program created to assist local businesses by encouraging customers to keep their spending in the downtown district.
They come in $5, $10 and $20 denominations. According to Rebekah Cline, marketing director for Lawrenceville Tourism & Trade Association, “Downtown Dollars are sold for a dollar per dollar value so there is no profit off of the sale of the Downtown Dollars.”
Cline says Downtown Dollars make a great gift for any occasion, and it is a nice alternative to giving cash or the typical gift card. They can be ordered in advance at any time of year or purchased outright at the Lawrenceville Visitors Center, Lawrenceville City Hall and Aurora Theatre.
Mary Peal, a longtime resident of Lawrenceville says of the program: "I love the idea of Downtown Dollars. Of course, I am an avid supporter of small business in Lawrenceville, and this seems like a good way to stimulate the economy."
The business owners overall have good feedback regarding the program, with the only downside of the length of time for reimbursement of purchases made with Downtown Dollars.
"I've had some success with it. I had someone purchase something before Christmas, but it took awhile to get reimbursed," says Dana Clark, owner of Made You Look. "It's a wonderful concept, but it takes too long to get the money back."
Kimberly Ko, owner of Corner Stop Cafe comments, "I had a couple of people use them (Downtown Dollars) just this week. It's worth it, though. If it helps businesses here, I'm for it."
Participating businesses are asked to display a Downtown Dollars promotional poster in their windows. To further generate business, The Lawrenceville Tourism & Trade Association plans to include Downtown Dollars on the website www.VisitLawrenceville.com.
“We are currently in the process of launching a merchandise page on the website… that will include the Downtown Dollars,” states Cline. “It should be launched in two weeks.”
More than 20 restaurants, retail stores, fitness centers and entertainment businesses in downtown Lawrenceville currently participate in the program. They include:
- Corner Stop Café
- Cosmo’s Little Italy Pizza
- Dominick’s Little Italy
- McCray’s Tavern
- Rita’s Italian Ice
- Sweets on the Square
- The Singin’ Bean
- Uptown Café
- Oyster Bay Seafood Café
- Niko’s Wine Corner
- Aurora Theatre
- Cupid’s Bow
- Fleet Feet Sports
- Miracles of Massage
- Scotland Yard Antiques
- Sikes & Davis Interiors
- Dance Fusion and Fitness
- Yarn Garden
- College Nannies & Tutors
- The LONA Gallery & Gifts
- Polished Affairs, LLC
- Peachstate Party Supplies
- Antoinette’s Gift Boutique
- Made You Look
- 2 CHIC Boutique & Consignment