Bright future on the cards

Original article – Kyabram Free Press:

Money picture

In total, the gift cards have injected an impressive $114,816 into the local community since their introduction in early July 2017.

WHEN you support small business, you’re supporting a dream.

It’s someone’s passion, pride, joy and, granted, sometimes a brick to the head.

But all the long hours, extra effort and sleepless nights have not gone unnoticed in Ky.

The latest stats are in and show that locals are willing to open their wallets if it means small town shops can stay in business.
A record number of Kyabram First Gift Cards (which can be spent at Ky Chamber of Commerce businesses) were purchased between April 1 and June 30, almost double from the same period last year.

“We sold 382 cards in this period compared to 192 in the same three month period last year,” Kyabram Chamber of Commerce secretary/treasurer Helen Armstrong said.

It’s the second highest number of gift cards purchased in a three-month period and brings the total amount loaded onto the gift cards this year to more than $27,000.

In total, the gift cards have injected an impressive $114,816 into the local community since their introduction in early July 2017.

Amidst challenging economic conditions for many people in the district, this quiet loyalty from shoppers is humbling for traders.

“Two years ago Chris Morgan from Campaspe Shire told us what we needed to know to get the gift cards started and we haven’t looked back,” Ms Armstrong said.

“We are thrilled with their success and how the community has supported us through them.”

One of the most stunning aspects of their success is the results have been achieved almost exclusively with the support of this paper and local word of mouth.

“Apart from the Free Press, which has promoted the cards at every opportunity, we haven’t had any additional publicity,” Ms Armstrong said.

“It has really been driven by the community and shows how much people in Kyabram care about their shops and businesses, big or small.

“We’ve been really lucky major supporters including sporting clubs, the Ky and District Health Service and the Ky Club have put so many cards into circulation.

Supporting business locally makes sense – it’ll keep doors open, people employed and streets busy. And the alternative is unthinkable. No-one wants to see Kyabram with closed doors and empty streets.’’

Small businesses make a significant contribution to employment — figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics bring the total number of Victorian small businesses to more than 576,000 as of June 2017, meaning small businesses make up approximately 98 per cent of the state’s total businesses.

“Let’s keep the dollars flowing,” she said.

Gift Cards can be redeemed in most of the 80 Chamber businesses and are available at Ky Lucky Lotto and Ky Newsagency.