In September 2021, the Town Of Cutler Bay, FL, launched the Cutler Bay Cash Program- designed to support local small businesses while also providing financial aid to its residents who have been impacted by the pandemic. The Town Of Cutler Bay distributed $500 gift cards to 300 qualifying Cutler Bay households who applied to the program on their website, to be redeemed at 54 participating local Cutler Bay businesses.
Cutler Bay is one of several Yiftee communities using ARPA, Cares Act and other federal and state funds to launch a gift card program and generate business for their local merchants who are currently suffering from the devastating effects of the pandemic. The town distributed $150,000 in Cares Act funds to their residents who then spent them at their local businesses, doubling the financial impact of the funds and keeping local dollars local.
“We’re very pleased to launch the Cutler Bay Cash program. While the program has a very palpable and immediate positive effect — quickly introducing $150,000 into our local economy — there is also a long-term effect that will continue boosting our local small businesses.” -Cutler Bay Mayor, Tim Meerbott.
As of February 2022, 97.3% of the Cutler Bay Cash gift card value has been redeemed at local Cutler Bay businesses, plus more as cardholders typically overspend the card value once in the stores. By encouraging residents to explore and discover small businesses that they might not have considered otherwise, the Cutler Bay Cash gift card program has generated new customers for local merchants, while also fueling a new “shop local” movement within the community.
Written by Raquel Borges