WARRICK COUNTY — This year holiday shopping in Warrick County may look different than previous years. Thanks to a new program from the Economic Development Corporation, shopping locally will be easier than ever before.

Warrick Bucks, a new program intended to encourage shoppers to stay in the county, is launching this week just in time for Black Friday. The program works by providing shoppers gift cards to Warrick County businesses to incentivise them to patronize local stores.

The Warrick County Economic Development Corporation has made a concentrated effort to bring money into Warrick County, as well as to keep money circulating among its residents. Having more money circulating within the county not only makes the area more desirable to start a new business but also increases the overall quality of life and quality of place. Warrick Bucks is just the newest prong in this attack and is shaping up to be one of its most effective.

The program operates by offering E-gift cards and buy one get one offers to shoppers patronizing local businesses. The program is only available to shoppers within Warrick County, and is good at businesses within the county. Using money received from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grants, the money and deals will help to offset inflation and higher costs often associated with shopping locally. While local businesses generally cannot afford to undercut the prices that bulk businesses can offer, programs like this can help to even up the odds and give small businesses a better chance in a market increasingly dominated by large chain stores and brands.

Those who wish to participate in the Warrick Bucks program can do so by visiting the Success Warrick County website and following instruction there to receive digital gift cards through their app. Once shoppers have received their gift cards they can be redeemed at eligible local stores in the county. The money from the grants funds the gift cards so stores do not operate at a loss by providing free gift cards and deals to shoppers.

As executive director at Success Warrick County Steve Roelle put it, “We wanted a tool to support local businesses and customers coming out of COVID, facing rising costs and inflation. This program does just that. It not only drives customers and sales to our local shops and restaurants, but for a limited time it also doubles purchasing power for customers through the BOGO promotion.”

While budgeting and shopping for the holidays can be a stressful time, programs like Warrick Bucks can provide relief for both shoppers and business owners, and keep money circulating in the local community to make shopping more convenient as well. As long as Warrick County has organizations and programs that prioritize the county’s well being, economic development will continue to be a positive force in the county’s trajectory.

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