City leaders want to help small businesses that have struggled during the pandemic.
PORTLAND, Ore. — The town of Newberg has a new program — the Berg Gift Card — that is intended to help small businesses that have struggled during the pandemic.
“The past two years have been interesting to say the least,” said Jennifer Sitter, owner of Pulp & Circumstance, which is part of the program. “We were part of the shutdown, so we had to shut down.”
Sitter said that thankfully her store was able to get through the pandemic. She said programs like this are crucial.
“The hardest part was having to stop,” Sitter said. “Having to fire my employees was horrible.”
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The gift card is not exclusive to any one store and city officials hope it will encourage people to shop and explore various businesses in the Newberg area.
The program is a collaboration between entities such as the Newberg Chamber of Commerce and the Newberg Downtown Coalition. It was created with a grant from the city as an economic investment.
“Downtown is the heart of a city, as everyone knows,” said Molly Olsen of the Downtown Coalition. “Buying local means the money you spend stays in the community.”
Newberg has made a lot of headlines over the past year due to political issues involving the school board. Olsen said she feared it would affect tourism.
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“I heard that indeed it hurt some of the tourism,” Olsen said. “I think what we are going through in this country is difficult.”
Olsen said she wanted to assure everyone that Newberg is a welcoming place to shop.
“If you go downtown, you’ll see all the people are welcome signs everywhere,” Olsen said. “I would say it’s a very welcoming and nice community.”
If people are interested in the gift card program, they can go to the cities website for more information.