Now, more than ever, small businesses in our region are depending upon the support of area residents.

Local businesses, including our smaller mom and pop shops, have been among those most adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. That’s why we support a new initiative recently launched by the Chamber of Commerce of the two Virginias that aims to help local businesses while also providing consumers a good deal in the process.

Jeff Disibbio, president and CEO of the chamber, said Alorica, the employment partner for Intuit in Bluefield, came up with the new gift certificate idea in conjunction with the Rotary Clubs of Bluefield and Princeton, who are helping with the plan. The chamber initiative seeks to supplement the dollars that small businesses in the region are getting.

That’s made possible through a limited number of $100 gift certificates that are now available for purchase at the chamber offices in Bluefield and Princeton. The cost for the $100 gift certificate is only $50.

“It doubles the amount of money these small businesses are getting when people shop there,” Dissibio said, adding that consumers are receiving $100 worth of products for only $50.

The campaign also seeks to spur area residents to visit businesses they may never have shopped at before.

“Residents can also make a donation with the certificates to someone in need,” Disibbio said. “Or they can use them for a tip.”

When a business receives gift certificates they then return them to the chamber for the money. Participating businesses are then reimbursed on a weekly basis from the chamber.

Disibbio says the certificates can also be used for Christmas presents because they are good through the end of the year.

Only businesses that are located in certain areas in Princeton, Bluefield and Bluefield, Va. are participating in the gift certificate campaign. Those areas where businesses are included are the primary business districts, like Mercer Street and the courthouse area in Princeton, the Bland Street downtown area in Bluefield, and the Virginia Avenue area in Bluefield, Va.

In all, Dissibio says about 100 area businesses are participating in the campaign. 

We join the chamber in urging area residents to support this new pro-business initiative. It’s a way to support small, locally-owned shops, right here in Bluefield, Bluefield, Va., and Princeton while also getting a good deal at the same time.

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