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Your area Chamber of Commerce since 1901


$$$ Chamber Dollar

$$$Chamber Dollar sample

Selkirk Biz promotes the $$$Chamber Dollar Program, which encourages our citizens to shop locally and to support our members. Since June of 2006, over $500,000.00 has been spent in the local economy.

Great for gift giving, employee rewards or volunteer recognition...the possiblities are endless! Large orders require 48 hours notice. Please call to place your order today!

We recently polled our members on the idea of switching to a Gift Card...here is some Feedback & Questions



Q:  Would there be an opportunity to have local gift-card retailers vend these to their customers (Safeway, Shoppers Drug Mart, etc.)?


A:  This is a great idea and we will work to find a way to make this happen.


Q:  My boss has reached out to me regarding this. He does not see the point or value because he feels people are going to spend money where they want. Unless you can somehow dictate where people can spend their money.


A:  Our current shop local program is the Chamber Dollars.  This program has been around for over 10 years and similar programs are offered by many other community chambers.  Our current program is quite successful with annual sales of approximately $32,700.  The largest purchasers of Chamber Dollars are Gerdau Ameristeel, City of Selkirk, RM of St. Andrews, LSSD, Red River Planning Board, CUPE Local 336 and Canadian Tire.  The majority of the Chamber Dollars are being redeemed at Safeway, Canadian Tire, Shopper’s Drug Mart and the Liquor Mart.


The shortfall of our current program is that it is essentially a blank cheque.  We have seen instances of individuals writing in their own name and depositing the cheque into their account or going into stores, spending less than the full amount of the cheque and receiving the change.  These shortfalls were the spark that initiated a reinvention of what our shop local program could be. 


The Selkirk Biz gift card is a great solution because it keeps 100% of the dollars in our business community and can be used in full or in part at any merchant within our community who chooses to participate and enroll in this program.  Here is an example, Polo Park sells generic Polo Park gift cards, these cards can be used in any shop or restaurant in the mall that has chosen to participate in the Polo Park gift card program.  This is the same idea we will implement in our business community!


Q:  Are we going to have a guest speaker or someone who can share their success stories to get business customers on board with this?


A:  We are considering hosting a webinar with EML, the gift card technology provider, and inviting all biz members to attend.  This webinar will explain the program and the experts will be available to answer questions and provide examples of other success stories.

Q:  What would be the cost to the business for accepting this form of payment, is it just the merchant fees we pay now?


A:  The vendor we have been dealing with uses a Mastercard platform.  Your merchant processing fees will reflect what you currently have in place for processing this type of payment.


Q:  Instead of charging members a higher fee, have you explored adding a small service charge to each card being loaded?  Visa and Mastercard do this for gift-card purchases, and in my opinion, it likely would not deter from purchases. 


A:  Yes, we are considering the idea of adding a service charge to each card purchased.  This charge would help to cover the cost of purchasing blank cards and in house administration of the program.  However, there is a fixed cost to this program for the data capture, reporting and 24hr support for retailers, customers and administrators.  We need to have a solid plan in place to cover this cost regardless of the number of cards we issue.  We will negotiate the best possible contract with the least financial impact to our members.



$$$Chamber Dollar - Shop Local Program

$$$Chamber Dollar cheques are quickly becoming the solution to gift giving. If you are the lucky recipient or the retailer where these are being redeemed, click on the following list for frequently asked questions that can simplify your experience: