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New Downtown Sudbury Gift Card introduced to stimulate the economy and encourage local shopping

Downtown Sudbury launches its own gift card program this June as part of efforts to stimulate the economy, lock money into Sudbury and encourage people to visit Downtown safely.

The new Downtown Sudbury Gift Card can be spent with multiple businesses in Sudbury, including places to eat and drink like restaurants, bars and cafés, places to shop like clothing, gift and homeware stores, plus salons, attractions and more. Gift cards can be purchased online in any dollar amount, and will be mailed directly to the recipient.

Sudbury’s new gift card is the latest initiative from Downtown Sudbury Business Improvement Association (BIA) to welcome visitors back Downtown, following its Sidewalk Café Program in June. The patio program opened up sidewalk cafés and patios, giving customers more options for outdoor dining.

Kyle Marcus is the managing director at Downtown Sudbury BIA and said the new Downtown Sudbury Gift Card is vital to the city’s efforts to combat the effects of the pandemic:

“I joined the BIA in March 2021, and after what feels like the longest lockdown in history, one of the priorities was setting up a gift card program for Sudbury. Instead of a paper gift voucher, we wanted an option that is more futuristic, that enables people to shop online as well as in store, to buy everything from a meal out to a subscription to a yoga class. I was running The Alibi Room right through the pandemic so I know how hard it has been for traders. Whilst we were knee deep in quarantine, it was time to think of a solution to support local businesses that takes into account how people shop now.

“The pandemic has changed Sudbury hugely. Sudbury is one of the largest cities in Canada in terms of landmass, around three hours from Toronto and 15 hours to the next metropolitan city. We have the classic small town to big city story; a mining town that has transitioned to services, science and tech, and from blue collar to white collar. But following the pandemic, we’re seeing an influx of people who are not going back to Bay Street and are looking to Sudbury instead. It’s time for us to capitalize on that and give merchants another revenue stream with the Downtown Sudbury Gift Card.

“Like most cities, we’ve had challenges but the Downtown Sudbury Gift Card is us taking a positive, proactive approach to getting our city in good shape for the future. As it’s a digital gift card, it will be easier to track, rather than having all this paper money circulating. We can also use it in different ways, branding the gift card for the holidays or personalizing the card for a larger company to use as incentives for their staff.

“Community unity is vital for Sudbury as we move forwards and the Downtown Sudbury Gift Card epitomizes that unity. With the launch of our new local gift card, we’re showing that good things are on the horizon.”

The technology for the Downtown Sudbury Gift Card is  provided by fintech Miconex in association with international payments technology solutions provider EML Payments.  Miconex operates its Downtown Gift Card concept in Canada and the US, and over 60 Town and City Gift Card programs in the UK.

Andrew Monaghan is CEO of Miconex in Canada and North America and said the Downtown Sudbury Gift Card will help the city to take its fair share of the gift card market.

“Residents of Sudbury, Ontario are buying an estimated XX of gift cards each year. When gift cards are purchased for the big retail chains and online, that money leaves the area but when people buy a Downtown Sudbury Gift Card, it helps local businesses to get a fair share of the huge gift card market. Keeping money locked into Sudbury supports local businesses, local jobs and the local economy.

“Places in Canada have had huge success with our Downtown Gift Card concept, like Prince Edward Island who sold out of their 5000 Canada’s Food Island Gift Cards in 4.5 days, rapidly becoming a $1.7 million project. Or Downtown Peterborough, who took around $70,000 in gift card sales in month one.

“The Downtown Sudbury Gift Card is a tried and tested, robust program that will have a big impact. Sudbury is reinventing its city for the future, giving customers an easy way to shop locally. We’re pleased to be working alongside the BIA as they take this next exciting step on their journey.”

The Downtown Sudbury Gift Card is issued by PACE Savings & Credit Union Limited. Card funds are not insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) or any other government deposit insurer or agency.