If you were not hungry before, you will be after visiting the new GetYourGiftOn.org website (https://www.getyourgifton.org/), launched by the Huntsville-Madison Chamber of Commerce in support of local small businesses, especially restaurants and retail establishments.
The website features retail and dining establishments which can quickly and easily upload detailed information about their business, including any promotional offers and specials; new and limited business hours; whether or not they offer curbside or delivery options (even if they didn’t offer it before); and links to online gift cards that can be used to order food or goods, or that can be given to someone else as gift.
Searchable by neighborhood, it is easy for businesses to take part by clicking the “Submit a Business” link at the top of the site and filling out the information. That information goes to the Chamber to be verified and could go live within a couple of hours if not sooner.
There is no cost for businesses to be added and Chamber membership is not required to participate.
“Maybe your company never thought about offering gift cards or just hadn’t gotten around to it yet,” said Lucia Cape, Senior Vice President of Economic Development at the Chamber. “This makes it really easy, and that was our intent – to keep it really simple and make it very attractive.”
For businesses that do not offer gift cards, there are options available.
- Instagift, an Alabama-based e-gift card service, is waiving monthly fees for any Huntsville signups;
- Gift Up is waiving its 3.49 percent fee on the first $5,000 of gift card sales.
For businesses with e-gift cards and using platforms such as Square, they can be easily and quickly linked.
The Chamber has been brainstorming ways to help support local businesses during this unprecedented shutdown and heard about a site called LocalDistancing.com in Birmingham.
Inspired by three childhood friends and entrepreneurs Vince Perez, Dylan Spencer, and Trey Oliver, the Chamber asked them for help in building a sister site in Huntsville based on the same premise.
According to Cape, it was a labor of love working with them to get the site up quickly, and to provide such an easy format so business owners can add themselves to the site and be up and running almost immediately.
“Please pass along the word about GetYourGiftOn.org and encourage every retail or restaurant owner you know to add their information to the site,” said Cape. “We expect to add a lot more vendors to the site in the coming days so if there is a business you haven’t been to lately; or if you know of a business or restaurant in your neighborhood that should be using the site, be sure and let them and the Chamber know so we can get them up as soon as possible.
“Remember that even though we may be losing track of dates these days, we have not canceled holidays and Mother’s Day is coming up May 10. Maybe you are checking in with your mom, but not able to visit. You can still send her a gift. Go to GetYourGiftOn.org and buy her an online gift card to somewhere to eat or to her favorite retail store.
Because the website is new, the Chamber is seeking feedback to provide improvements and updates.