The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce aims to inject $1 million into local businesses this month with a new online shopping site where people can buy gift certificates that will increase in value by the time buyers redeem them.
Scheduled to open today, 22Local.com offers “gift certificate bonds” for more than 40 valley businesses, nonprofits and organizations of all types, including shops, restaurants, activity providers and hotels.
“We are going to work incredibly hard to get more businesses on board,” said chamber CEO and President Anna Olson.
A gift certificate bond is a discounted gift certificate that you purchase for less than face value and that matures at a future date.
For $450, for example, you can buy one for Hotel Terra that is redeemable in three months for $500. Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris’ offers include a $90 gift certificate bond that can be redeemed in two months for $100. A $25 gift certificate bond for the Center for the Arts that’s redeemable in two months can be purchased for $22.50. Some offers on 22Local are redeemable any time.
The chamber describes 22Local.com as a marketplace like eBay, Etsy and Amazon.
The platform is open to all organizations operating in Teton County. A button on the website leads to details and an application form.
The idea of 22Local.com is to boost immediate cash flow for businesses and help them pay their bills at a slow time. The chamber hopes valley residents and potential out-of-town visitors will be enticed to invest now with the promise of a bonus in the future.
Some of the participating businesses are still closed and will have “limited opportunities in the foreseeable future,” Olson said. “There are tons of business costs that are continuing.”
Each of the participating businesses has a marketing toolkit, and the chamber has a digital marketing strategy. The chamber will ask the Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board for $20,000 to promote 22Local.com regionally and nationally.
“We know here we can find people who love Jackson Hole,” Olson said. “They know they’re going to come back.”
Brian Modena of TIMBR donated the platform. Though the chamber manages the site, transactions will be between vendors and customers. Shoppers worried about a business going under before they can use their gift certificate should ask that business what the plan is.
Editors note: This story was edited to delete a reference to PayPal accounts being required for purchases and to fees required for non-chamber members to participate.