South Dakota State University is donating $25,000 to the Brookings Chamber of Commerce Gift Card Give Back program. The money is from private gifts devoted to the university through the SDSU Foundation. The chamber program uses an online shop where residents can purchase gift certificates to be used at and in support of local businesses.
“COVID-19 has certainly impacted our local economy and in particular, our small businesses,” said Kelsey Doom, president and CEO of the chamber. “The response to this program has been tremendous and every dollar means so much. We are thankful for the university’s efforts to be part of this program and ability to support our local economy through private gifts.”
The initial goal of the campaign was to raise $50,000, but over 90 donors have raised more than $125,000 to date. The money will be used as a match to the general public’s gift certificate purchases starting Thursday, meaning if someone buys a $20 gift certificate through the chamber to a local participating business, the program will match the amount and provide a $40 gift certificate.
“We are thankful for the opportunity and to have a way to support this program and our local economy,” said SDSU President Barry Dunn. “The past eight months have created serious challenges for small businesses within our community. SDSU is grateful for the support we received from the Brookings community in managing the virus and know that this program can help and assist businesses in our community during this ongoing pandemic.”
Gift certificates must be purchased through the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce. The online store will go live Thursday. Shoppers may visit the chamber’s online store or visit the Chamber’s office at 1321 6th Street to purchase gift certificates.