The Greater Maryville Chamber of Commerce is refreshing its existing Chamber Buck program with a new, improved Mastercard Chamber Buck Gift Card program.

The transition from paper checks to plastic Mastercard gift cards will occur over the summer to be in place and operational for a fall and holiday promotion: “Use Chamber Buck Gift Cards to Shop Local.”

Available for purchase at the Chamber of Commerce office, Chamber Buck gift cards may be loaded with any value over $25 and redeemable at all Chamber member merchants. These gift cards, which will run through merchants’ existing point-of-sale machines, will be more user friendly for both retailers and customers.

The “Use Chamber Bucks to Shop Local” promotion will encourage local shopping, bringing more money into the local economy and more attention to small businesses. Since the Chamber Buck Gift Card will work at so many locations, it is truly a gift of choice.

“Buy a Chamber Buck gift card for a stocking stuffer, birthday gift or any other special occasion. Not only are you doing something nice for someone, you are also doing something great for the local economy,” said Becky Albrecht, Chamber director. “Events like cash mobs or Small Business Saturdays are great, but they are one time events. Chamber Buck Gift Cards are a way for folks to support our great small businesses year-round.”

Bulk orders are also available, making Chamber Buck Gift Cards a nice option for employee recognitions. Albrecht says, “Many employers want to do something nice for their employees, but sometimes settle on something like an Amazon card because they don’t want to pick between local businesses. Chamber Buck Gift Cards are the perfect solution. The giver picks local; the receiver picks the specific business.”

Changes to the Chamber Buck program were researched for several months by a committee of Chamber members and directors before recommending this Giverrang’s Mastercard program to the board of directors. After a presentation at the April meeting, the directors voted to approve with the goal of promoting shopping at member businesses, modernizing operations and increasing efficiency.

Last year, the Chamber sold 2,673 Chamber Bucks for a total of $93,490 earmarked for use at member businesses. Chamber Bucks are sold to individuals and in bulk to businesses. Kawasaki partners with the Chamber to purchase a large quantity of Chamber Bucks. Northwest Missouri State University, Nodaway County Road & Bridge, Nodaway County Services and Federal Mogul also utilize the program in large quantities.