• Over $55,000 Economic Impact from Consumers Energy Our Town Promotion

    For Immediate Release
    Tuesday, December 21, 2021

    Over $55,000 Economic Impact from Consumers Energy Our Town Promotion

    BAY, CITY, MICH.- The “Our Town” gift card promotion made possible by Consumers Energy, provided the
    opportunity to double the amount shoppers could spend across 63 communities in Michigan, including
    Bay County. In 2021 alone, the Our Town Promotion had over $55,000 direct impact on Bay County small

    The intention of the program was to support small businesses who have been negatively impacted by the
    COVID-19 pandemic through various operating restrictions and those experiencing less foot traffic due to
    rising case numbers. When community residents purchased a $25 gift card, they receive a free $25 gift
    card at no charge to them or the business thanks to the support of Consumers Energy. Businesses then
    received a check for the full amount of the gift cards as an injection of cash.

    The program achieved its goal, selling out the first time, December 7, 2021, in 10 minutes. “We were
    overwhelmed and appreciative of the immediate success of the program and support provided to Bay
    County small businesses by community residents. We knew the program would sell out quickly, as it did
    in 2020, and we’re very grateful for that,” said Ryan Tarrant, President & CEO of the Bay Area Chamber of

    Staff at the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and Bay Future, Inc. highlighted that there was no prior
    account set up that was needed to purchase gift cards and that the link published on their facebook pages
    was the same link provided to all community residents. The massive interest from community members
    overwhelmed the platform.

    “It’s a good problem to have when there are too many people trying to support local businesses. We
    appreciate that so many of our neighbors, colleagues, and community members had interest in doing so.
    We’re hopeful that those who weren’t able to purchase gift cards through this promotion still chose to
    spend their dollars locally this holiday shopping season. We know that there are small businesses who are
    still hurting and need our support,” said Trevor Keyes, President & CEO of Bay Future, Inc.

    After the success of the program on December 7, Consumers Energy provided funding for a second ‘Our
    Town’ BOGO promotion, which was launched December 20, 2021 and sold out in less than one hour. This
    promotion was made available as an exclusive benefit for Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Members and
    Bay Future, Inc. Investors.

    The Buy Local Buy BC gift card stimulus program in Bay County, was first launched in June of 2020, by two
    business focused non-profits, Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and Bay Future, Inc., by offering this
    additional value to community members.

    Last year, the Consumers Energy “Our Town” promotion through the Buy Local Buy BC gift card stimulus
    program sold out in just minutes and played a major role in the success of the Buy Local Buy BC program.
    The Buy Local Buy BC Gift Card Stimulus Program had nearly $250,000 in direct impact on nearly 80 Bay
    County small businesses in 2020 in the retail, restaurant, and service industries. Total impact made by the
    program in the two years is just shy of $300,000.

    According to the National Retail Federation, people spend between 15 and 40 percent more than the gift
    card denomination. Leading to a potential impact of over $400,000 on the small businesses in Bay County,

    The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce is a private, nonprofit business organization with over 700 members. The
    Chamber, founded in 1882, provides programs to assist local businesses to grow and prosper. Chamber
    policy and program development are guided by a 25-member volunteer Board of Directors and
    implemented by a professional staff. Numerous volunteer committees and task force opportunities exist
    for interested Chamber members. The Chamber is the premier business organization promoting
    community development through collaboration and leadership.

    Contact: Trey Pinkstock
    P: 989.893.4567
    E: trey@baycityarea.com

    Established in 2004, Bay Future, Inc. is a public-private alliance of government, business and other
    organizations that support economic growth in Bay County, Michigan and the Great Lakes Bay Region.
    Through the support of its investors, Bay Future is working to execute Bay Future: Drive. Forward., a
    five-year plan to drive existing business and entrepreneur development, new business recruitment and
    job growth, workforce initiatives, market available “shovel ready” locations and sites, and both local and
    regional communication and collaboration. These strategies are all in an effort to create quality jobs for
    community residents.

    Contact: Megan Manning
    P: 989.892.1400
    E: MManning@BayFuture.com

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