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Newberg groups roll out Gift Card program to support local downtown businesses

A coalition of Newberg organizations and businesses is banding together to offer a Gift Card accepted at participating locally owned businesses in downtown Newberg. The Berg Gift Card is available to buy at Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center and online at http://newberggiftcard.com as part of efforts to drive traffic to downtown Newberg businesses.

A collaborative endeavour between the City of Newberg, Taste Newberg, Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Newberg Downtown Coalition, The Berg Gift Card program was created using a grant from the City of Newberg as an economic investment in Newberg area businesses.

Polly Peterson, former Executive Director at Newberg Downtown Coalition, states:

“I was approached by Newberg business owners asking if we could have our own Gift Card for the city. The City of Newberg agreed that this was a wise way to invest in our businesses. The Berg Gift Card is an exclusive Gift Card program that can be spent just like a debit card.”

Polly adds: “These cards are a perfect gift and a great way to support locally owned businesses. Instead of deciding to support just one local business, a purchaser can choose The Berg Gift Card and give the recipient the choice of participating merchants in the city.”

The Berg Gift Card can be spent with all participating businesses in Newberg, including stores, restaurants, coffee shops and salons. One of the businesses which accepts The Berg Gift Card is independent bookstore and coffee shop, Chapters. Owner Maureen Rogers said:

“My shop is a book and coffee/tea business located in the heart of historic downtown Newberg.  I have been a proprietor for 16 years and love my job. I think The Berg Gift Card will be good for businesses because it will encourage people to shop around with their Gift Cards. They don’t have to buy a Gift Card exclusive to one shop and this can only help get folks out and about to all of our stores.  People who aren’t already committed to a shop can feel free to explore, knowing they can use The Berg Gift Card with participating merchants. I can see larger businesses using The Berg Gift Card for Christmas gifts or bonuses to employees, and realtors using the Gift Card to include as a thank you to clients.

Maureen continues: “Since Covid, I’ve seen an uptick in people shopping locally. It has helped the bottom line so much! But as well as helping the shop financially, it also does something for the person themselves. They start to identify as someone who keeps my doors open and someone who influences what I order for my shelves. COVID upended so many supply chains and I think people are beginning to realize that their spending directly affects who stays open. The Berg Gift Card is an easy way that people can support local businesses.”

Another local business ready to accept The Berg Gift Card is Pulp & Circumstance. Owner Jennifer Sitter says local independent businesses need community support more than ever:

“Pulp & Circumstance is a fully fledged gift shop.  Our name is a play on ‘pomp and circumstance’, which stands for a ceremony with a lot of fuss and we like to think of our little shop as a fussy boutique.  We specialize in locally made products, art, paper, jewelry, home decor and candy. We have joined The Berg Gift Card program because we think it is a great way for our community to shop locally.  The Berg Gift Card will allow people to choose from a wide variety of local downtown shops and eateries and make gifting super easy, as the recipient will get to choose their own adventure.

Jennifer adds: “Now more than ever, shopping local makes a difference.  All Oregon retail shops and restaurants were required to shut down last year due to the pandemic and the ones that made it through the shut down are just getting back on their feet.  Additionally, when you shop local, a majority of the money spent goes back into the community.  All the independently owned businesses in Downtown Newberg employ locals and are constantly giving back to the community.  Big box stores do not donate to every school auction or local charity events, they do not participate in giving away candy on Halloween, lighting up the downtown for the holidays, or participating in community clean-up days. The local small businesses do and they really care, which is why it is so important to shop local.”

The Berg Gift Card is part of the Downtown Gift Card concept from payments provider Miconex in association with payments technology solutions provider EML Payments.  Downtown Gift Card systems run across the US, in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Michigan and Virginia, as well as across Canada, the UK and Ireland.

Katrina and Philip Higgins are owners of Pacific Crest Real Estate Advisors, and Members of Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce. Philip Higgins said The Berg Gift Card represents a local alternative to national chain Gift Cards:

“Katrina and I have both lived in Yamhill County our whole lives and Katrina is the third generation of her family to own a business in Newberg. The basic idea behind The Berg Gift Card is to keep our money in our local community, and to raise the profiles of the businesses that are participating, to shop local. But really it’s more. Buying a national chain’s Gift Card doesn’t keep my neighbour’s boutique in business, or the tables full at my friends’ restaurant. These merchants, our kids go to school together, we wave when we see each other around town. How can we not want to support that? It may seem like a small thing to buy The Berg Gift Card for someone’s birthday or a stocking stuffer at Christmas, but it’s really a love letter to our town.”

Locally owned businesses located in Newberg are eligible to participate in The Berg Gift Card program. Interested businesses can contact Newberg Downtown Coalition at exec@newbergdowntown.org

For questions or bulk orders, please contact exec@newbergdowntown.org. Card is issued by MetaBank®, N.A., Member FDIC. Funds do not expire, are non-reloadable and have no cash access. For Cardholder Agreement or Customer Service: www.getmybalance.com or 1.833.558.1088.