In only its first year of operation, the Shop Parkes Gift Card program has become one of the most successful community gift card programs in NSW.
That's according to Parkes Shire Council, who has partnered with Why Leave Town Promotions just over 12 months ago.
The program was launched in Parkes, council says, to stimulate economic activity and drive spending in the local business community.
"Our community is still grappling with the devastating impacts of drought. So it is especially important that we help stimulate the local economy and keep money flowing throughout our region where possible," Parkes Shire Mayor Ken Keith OAM said in the announcement last week.
More than $200,000 was loaded onto the Shop Parkes gift cards from December 2018 to December 2019, with more than $100,000 of that spent in local businesses throughout the year.
"In just 13 months, the Shop Parkes Gift Card program has positioned itself as one of our leading markets in the entire Why Leave Town network," said Why Leave Town Promotions Operations and Innovations Manager, Ashley Watt.
"The results we have seen in Parkes have been fantastic!
"Fifty thousand dollars worth of cards loaded up in December alone is a huge number, and that comes after $30,000 in November and $10,000 in October.
"These are some big numbers and at a much-needed time.
"The wide variety of local businesses involved and the support from Parkes Shire Council have been two of the big factors that are driving this success."
Shop Parkes gift cards can be redeemed for a large range of goods and services at 77 businesses in Parkes, Peak Hill, Trundle and Tullamore.
Council initially invested in the program as part of its drought support measures, with many charities and support agencies using the gift cards to distribute drought funding to local farmers.
Council said it invests $2000 per annum for the Why Leave Town program membership, as well as about $2000 for the cards as part of the commitment to supporting the business community.
"This ensures that customers do not have to pay for the cards, valued at $3 each, only the amount they wish to load onto the card," council said.
To find out where you can load and redeem Shop Parkes gift cards, head to www.visitparkes.com.au.
Parkes Shire businesses wishing to participate in the program are encouraged to contact council's Economic Development Team on 6861 2333 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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