SHELDON—Don’t call it a comeback, only because the program will have a different name this time around.
After the success of the Comeback Cash program last summer, the Sheldon Chamber and Development Corporation plans to hold a similar event this July, which it revealed during the April 7 Sheldon City Council meeting.
Summer Stash of Cash will resemble last summer’s Comeback Cash, when businesses were feeling the affects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Chamber director Shantel Oostra said she has talked to retailers about the upcoming promotion.
“Things are going relatively well but we don’t know what the next six months looks like,” Oostra said during the council meeting. “People have received PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) funding to help in this time, but we are hoping this will give another local boost to our economy.”
The SCDC will make $250,000 in Summer Stash of Cash available and it will be sold at a 30 percent discount, similar to Comeback Cash was.
Summer Stash of Cash will be sold in bundles of $500 at a cost of $350, with a maximum purchase of two bundles per household or business.
The twist will be in how Summer Stash of Cash can be spent at more than 40 SCDC-affiliated businesses.
Instead of spending it at any SCDC business, it will be divided into five categories with each one having a different color and a design appropriate for its category:
- 30 percent restaurants ($150).
- 30 percent retail ($150).
- 10 percent grocery/convenience/gas ($50).
- 10 percent theater ($50).
- 20 percent wild card ($100).
“In tracking Merry Money and the Comeback Cash and seeing where it is going, we wanted to make sure it wasn’t all going to a bigger business,” Oostra said. “We want to make sure everybody is receiving a little bit of the money.”
She pointed out Main St. 3 theater has been hit hard by the pandemic since many blockbusters keep getting the release dates pushed back or moved to streaming services.
“They were closed for a very long period of time and business is not back to normal at all there,” Oostra said. “We just want to make sure that everybody is getting a little piece of the pie and able to profit from the dollars being spent.”
SCDC director Curt Strouth noted grocery/convenience/gas was excluded from Comeback Cash but will have its own category for Summer Stash of Cash.
“It all worked out really well but this time we thought balancing it made a lot of sense,” Strouth said. “Then the theater aspect, they are open and they are still rolling out movies. We are really trying to stimulate traffic into there so that quality-of-life amenity remains.
“This is a good way to put our best foot forward so they are part of this stimulus package, per se.”
Wild card dollars may be spent at any participating business that does not fall into one of the above categories. It also may be used as additional dollars toward restaurant, retail, theater and/or grocery/convenience/gas.
Signage will be provided to each business so customers know what color cash can be used at their business.
The Summer Stash of Cash will be sold in one day, which is yet to be determined, and will expire six weeks from the date of sale.
Businesses will receive 100 percent of the funds.
Customer purchases will fund $175,000 of the $250,000 with $75,000 needed to cover the 30 percent discount.
The city budgeted $70,000 for this SCDC project for the 2021-22 fiscal year. The SCDC will fund $10,000. The extra $5,000 will be spent on promotion and the printing of the cash.
“The 30 percent discount doesn’t just help the businesses but it helps the people of Sheldon recover also,” said councilman Tom Eggers. “Of course, we want the businesses to thrive, but we want the people to recover as well and I think this offers that.”