Town of Eagle allocates $95,000 for small business relief with Eagle Bucks program
Residents will receive $40 to spend at participating businesses
Beginning next month, Eagle residents can go on a little spending spree, compliments of the town and complimentary to local businesses.
To benefit, all residents need to do is pick up their mail and head out to a participating business to redeem their Eagle Bucks.
The Eagle Town Council has allocated $95,000 for the Eagle Bucks promotion. The program is modeled on similar promotions in Basalt, Vail, Boulder and other communities in Colorado. In mid-February, the town will mail out two $20 vouchers to all Eagle post office box holders. Those vouchers can then be redeemed for goods and services at participating local businesses. The program is slated to run through April 15.
“The whole message of the program is that Eagle is still open for business and please support the local businesses and the local economy,” said Rick Beveridge, vice president of the Eagle Chamber.
Eagle Mayor Scott Turnipseed said the $95,000 investment in the Eagle Bucks program is a vivid demonstration of how much the town believes in, and supports, local commerce.
“I am very optimistic about the vaccinations and seeing the end to the pandemic, but we feel it is very important to help support our local businesses that have been the most impacted by COVID-19,” Turnipseed said.
“For the longest time, we have been struggling with how to help,” Beveridge added. “We are asking businesses to do a special in conjunction with the program.”
Beveridge added that in researching the promotion, Eagle representatives learned that a single $20 voucher usually spurs additional spending at participating businesses.
“In Basalt, they found that their program basically tripled the voucher amount by the time a customer left. We are hoping that is what happens in Eagle,” he said.
Bucks to your box
In debating the organization of the promotions, Eagle Town council members opted for distribution of vouchers through post office box holders as the most equitable process. Eagle Bucks are only valid at participating businesses and participation in the program is not mandatory.
Eagle Bucks cannot be used for the purchase of tobacco products, marijuana, items from liquor stores, grocery items, pharmaceuticals, lottery tickets, gift cards or contribute to sales tax collected. Participating retailers must be registered before accepting the vouchers. A full list of the participating businesses as well as the complete terms and conditions of use are available at the program website.
To be part of the program, businesses must be located within the town of Eagle, have an Eagle Business License, a valid sales tax license, and must not conduct the majority of their retail business with one of the disqualifying products. Applications to participate are being accepted now through the town’s website, and applications received before January 25, 2021 will be listed in the mailing containing the vouchers.
Eagle Bucks is the community’s third program designed to provide local support in response to COVID-19. “Be Our Guest” is still in effect, allowing businesses to apply for use of town right-of-way to expand business operations as an offset the impacts of COVID-19 on enclosed spaces.
In August 2020, the Town Council approved $45,000 to be distributed to local nonprofit organizations assisting residents with the impacts of COVID-19, funding 20 organizations including the Vail Valley Foundation, United Way of Eagle County, SpeakUp ReachOut, Neighborhood Navigators and Bright Future Foundation.
Beveridge noted that Eagle Bucks is a great win/win promotion for customers and businesses alike. He noted Eagle residents have expressed their desire to help brick and mortar businesses weather the pandemic and thank their owners for their ongoing support support for the Eagle community.
“Who are you going to call when you want someone to sponsor your softball team? It won’t be Amazon,” Beveridge said. “It is the local businesses who are always sponsoring things, time and time again.”
For more information on town efforts, please go to http://www.townofeagle.org.