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Invest in Main Street, NOT Wall Street

By Jay Scannell | Published December 12, 2012 | Google+

Growing up in the small village of Lake Placid, New York instilled in me the appreciation for the small business owner. I quickly realized I could find the best gifts, best food, best service, and so much more, ALL from the small businesses in our community. Many years later, experiences from travelling the world have only reinforced that this could not be more true. And today, while discussing unemployment rates, the fiscal cliff, and increasing taxes the big box stores on Wall Street with their huge marketing agencies suggest that we should take ONE day, one Saturday, to spend our shopping dollars on Main Street and support our local stores. How kind of them! Give Main street one out of three hundred and sixty five days or a .003% shot at capturing our shopping dollars.

I firmly believe we should make the conscious decision to move the majority of our spending to Main Street, where it belongs. This is why I love our GiftLocal program. It empowers each of us, from the comfort of our homes, via iPad, mobile device, or laptop, to purchase gift cards from each and every one of our favorite ‘mom-and-pop’ shops. From our pizza joint to our coffee house, from sushi and sake to steak and tails, cigar shop to bed & breakfast…every cool spot you can think of. If you have been there and love it, then purchase a gift card and get others to enjoy the same experience! How many times have you heard or said, “you should check it out,” “it’s the best kept secret,” or “it’s a hidden gem!”? Well, now you can add a friendly, slightly-bribing nudge, in the form of a gift card, to the mix… to ensure that gem is discovered!

Need even more incentive to support your local stores? You also get more ‘bang-for-your-buck.’ A study by First Data showed gift card recipients perceived the value of a gift card to be significantly higher than that of a traditional gift. When asked whether they would prefer a gift with a value ranging from $20 to $45 versus a $25 gift card, the vast majority preferred the gift card – even compared to a gift at a higher price point. As shown below, more than half of consumers would prefer a $25 gift card over a gift valued at $45.

Percentage Perferring a 25 Gift Card Over A Gift

Source: Consumer Insights into the U.S. Gift Card Market: First Data

The small business owner acquires customers who, on average will spend 20% more than the card value. They do so because these folks are excited to try it and are being ‘paid’ to do so. This certainly helps your favorite small businesses flourish, which allows you to continue to enjoy them for years to come. And by giving ALL 365 days to local shops on Main Street, versus Wall Street, many of our looming, seemingly daunting economic issues can soon become distant memories.

I look forward to seeing you on Main Street this Holiday Season with your GiftLocal card!

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