Holiday shoppers can give the gift of Easton this year. The Easton Main Street Initiative has introduced a downtown gift card program.
The gift cards will be accepted at 58 downtown businesses.
"We are anxious to see how this will affect our downtown merchants after the holidays, when everyone has some gift cash to spend," said Kim Kmetz, Easton Main Street manager.
According to Kmetz, a downtown gift card program had been requested for several years. Kerry Harrington from Pearly Baker's Ale House led the program, which can be used at her restaurant, as well as participating shops, salons and service businesses.
Amy Boccadoro, assistant manager of the program, said the reason it took so long for a program to be implemented was the difficulty in finding a gift card solution that could be used universally between different vendors and using different credit card service providers.
The system the businesses will be using allows them to keep their existing card readers and still use the service for the new gift cards – a big money saver for the merchants.
Gift cards will be sold in denominations ranging from $5 to $500, with a $2 activation fee.
Easton Hospital sponsored the development of the gift card program.
"There is so much to see, do, eat and support in our thriving downtown that it's time for folks to rediscover Easton," said John Zidansek, interim CEO of Easton Hospital. "We are proud to partner with the Easton Main Street Initiative because all they are doing works to make us stronger and improve our collective health."
Boccadoro said in addition to stimulating consumer spending, some businesses intend to give cards out to employees as rewards and bonuses, and to customers who participate in loyalty programs.
The cards can be purchased through the Main Street Initiative office at 35 S. Third St., The Sigal Museum at 342 Northampton St. and online at www.eastonmainstreet.org, where there is a list of participating businesses.