Throughout the pandemic, we’ve looked for ways we can help meet some of the biggest needs in the communities we serve. One of the ways we’ve assisted small businesses and put a significant amount of money straight into the local community is through local
gift card matching initiatives. We saw great success when we partnered with Corning’s Gaffer District and Corning Enterprises in the spring of 2020 for their Buy Now, Shop Later program,
where we exhausted our matching funds in fewer than three days. After this overwhelming positive response from the community, we continued to look for more of these initiatives in other areas. In conjunction with this year’s National Small Business
Week from May 3-7, we partnered with Elmira Downtown Development (EDD) for their very own Buy Now, Shop Later program.
We provided a dollar-for-dollar match on gift card purchases to Elmira-area businesses throughout the week. Customers were able to purchase a gift card right on the EDD website or by phone where CCU automatically made a matching donation to that business
for up to $50. That means a business received $50 for a $25 gift certificate purchase. The match ran until the $25,000 in matching funds was exhausted (spoiler alert: funds were exhausted in just under three days!) and 62 different businesses had
gift cards purchased and matched. Gift cards were mailed out by Friday, May 7, so if you made a purchase, you should expect it in the mail soon if you haven't already received it.
So, why Buy Now, Shop Later? According to Jennifer Herrick-McGonigal, EDD Executive Director, “Participating in this program means supporting the heart of what makes our community unique and supporting our local businesses at a time when they need it
most.” For us, we recognize small businesses have seen some the biggest challenges they never could have imagined during this past year. We’re proud to support them and directly inject cash into the small business community. We believe we can make
a difference together, especially right now.
Initiatives like these help create a positive impact on our communities and we look forward to other ways we can help in the future.