CORNWALL, Ontario – As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many local businesses have been forced to close while people remain at home, self-isolate, and social distance.
Recognizing that many businesses will require extra support during this time, the Cornwall Gift Certificate program was born on March 15. This unique start-up program in Cornwall allows visitors to their website to purchase numbered certificates for denominations of $10, $25, $50 or $100 for their favourite local business, which are downloadable, printable, and redeemable when the worst of the pandemic passes.
All of the money generated by the program goes directly to the businesses.
Since it began, the online program has grown to include nearly 160 businesses from Cornwall and the United Counties of SD&G.
Just two weeks after launching, on March 29, the program announced that it had generated $10,000.
Kelly Bergeron, who created and launched the Cornwall Gift Certificate program is heartened to see the strong support that the local community is showing to small business.
Chris Munro, Owner of Life’s Little Pleasures in Cornwall’s Downtown said that the program makes a big difference for small business owners.
“I think I can speak for everyone… I am beyond grateful for the genuine concern, the supportive ear, the ongoing communications, the help and the selfless heart that Kelly has for our small business community. And a big thank you to our customers for bringing us hope and support during these challenging times,” Munro said.
Created through Shopify, the program quickly caught the eye of Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke.
Awesome work, Kelly. https://t.co/hAY3JB1Kiu
— Tobi Lutke 🌳🌲🛒🕹 (@tobi) March 16, 2020
Similar websites began to be created and inspired by the idea that began in Cornwall.
Thanks for the inspiration. We just did this for the Province of Quebec, so far 300 businesses and 75 in the pipeline, selling e-gift cards with 100% digital fullfilement. Check it out: https://t.co/9MmbVME1Mc
— Yanik Guillemette (@yanguillemette) March 19, 2020
— Kelly Bergeron (@kellykbergeron) March 25, 2020
Thanks to @kellykbergeron for spearheading this initiative in Cornwall, ON.
We applaud your leadership & are eager to follow your example in our own backyard.
— Kanata North BA (@KanataNorthBA) March 17, 2020
And also internationally in countries like the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Thank you @kellykbergeron for the inspiration
We’re also on @ProductHunt today
— yannschaub (@yannschaub) March 29, 2020
Many many thanks for your tweet. This has been an inspiration for my wife and myself to build something very similar for our local community in Fribourg, Switzerland: https://t.co/XxBsuQttrD
Best regards and keep safe,
— Oliver Price (@priceoliver) March 18, 2020
On Tuesday, March 31, Kelly Bergeron and Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement will be on the Shopify Masters Podcast to celebrate the gift certificate project.
Head to www.cornwall-gift-certificates.ca to support your favourite local business.