Give the Gift of Easton With Expanded Downtown Merchants Gift Card Program
By Colin McEvoy on December 19, 2014
It’s the season of giving. And now, it’s easier than ever to give a gift that will also support downtown Easton merchants.
The Easton Main Street Initiative is expanding the reach and convenience of its Downtown Easton Gift Card Program, which supports about 50 of the city’s restaurants, shops, attractions and services. Previously only available in two locations, a new mobile payment system will allow them to be sold at various places and events throughout the city.
“From the beginning we really wanted to have mobile capabilities, but it wasn’t available to use when we started the program,” said Kim Kmetz, Main Street Manager with the Easton Main Street Initiative. “We’re grateful that with the success that we’ve had, we can now make it even more accessible and easier than ever to give the gift of downtown Easton.”
The mobile payment system is being supported by a nearly $3,000 grant by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. (LVEDC). Jared Mast, interim director of the Greater Easton Development Partnership, said he hopes to get the mobile program running by the end of the month.
The gift card program was implemented in September 2013, with support from Easton Hospital. About 900 cards worth more than $30,000 were sold in the first year, Kmetz said. A total of $11,000 worth have been sold since this Thanksgiving alone.
But there were only two locations in Easton where they could be bought: the Easton Main Street Initiative office and the Sigal Museum gift shop. While those locations have been effective, Mast said the program could serve many more people if the cards could be purchased in additional spots.
“The mobile payment system will allow us to get in front of a lot more people,” Mast said. “Both the Main Street organization and the Farmers’ Market are very successful at getting people to the downtown for their events, and having the ability to transact a gift card purchase essentially makes us a visible part of the event itself and gets us in front of thousands of people.”
The mobile system will allow patrons to buy gift cards as Easton Farmers’ Market events, other festivals and locations throughout Easton, and at events organized by the Easton Main Street Initiative, like their summer concert series, the Peace Candle lighting, Small Business Saturday and Spring Into Easton.
“The people coming to the Farmers’ Market and these festivals are exactly the kind of people we’d want to reach out to with these gift cards,” Mast said. “Maybe they want to share the gift of Easton with somebody else from their community, which would drive more outside dollars into downtown Easton.”
The cards, which can also be purchased online here, are available in denominations from $5 to $500.
The LVEDC grant supported the purchase of an Apple iPad and three-year data service plan for the Greater Easton Development Partnership. The device is used to run the mobile applications for loading the gift cards. They can be purchased with cash or credit card, the latter of which can be swiped on the iPad using a wireless payment processing device.
Gift cards must be used for in-store purchases and are not valid online or over the phone. See below for a complete list of participating Easton businesses:
- 3rd & Ferry Fish Market
- Ahlum Gallery
- Bank Street Creamery
- Black & Blue
- Blue Sky at the State Cafe and Grill
- Bloomie’s Flower Shop
- Cheeburger Cheeburger
- City of Easton Credit Card Parking Meters
- Colonial Pizza
- Connexions Gallery
- DC Dancewear
- Dreyus Kids Boutique
- Easton Farmers’ Market
- Easton Outdoor Company
- Easton Record Exchange & Pawn Shop
- Easton Yoga
- Game Gallery
- Genesis Bicycles
- Grand Eastonian Suites Hotel
- Grandma’s Back Porch
- Greenmouth Juice Cafe
- J.Morgan Salon and Home
- Lafayette Inn
- Maxim’s 22
- Mercantile Home
- Mesa Modern Mexican
- Nature’s Way
- Pearly Bakers
- Porters’ Pub
- Rivals Sports Bar
- Salvage Goods
- Sette Luna
- Sigal Museum
- Skinterest Skin Care Boutique
- State Theatre (Box Office sales only)
- Stiltskins Coffee House
- Suddenly Samantha
- Sweet Girlz Bakery
- Terra Cafe
- The London Shop
- The Strand
- Time Photo Studios
- Two Rivers Brewing
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