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Love on Local program successful

MARQUETTE — The Lake Superior Community Partnership has announced that the Love on Local program surpassed $250,000 in gift card sales last month.

The shop local program was created to promote local purchasing, a priority in particular as the local economy is reopening, the LSCP said in a news release. In six months, the program has exceeded expectations.

Gift cards can be used at any small, local business in Marquette County that accepts Visa cards. Because of program underwriters — AT&T, Eagle Mine, Enbridge, mBank and Range Bank — this program is free for all local small businesses to participate.

The program saw a large surge during the holiday season as people were looking to purchase holiday gifts for their employees, friends and family. Innovate Marquette SmartZone covered the card fees and shipping for December to help encourage consumers to keep their spending local.

“We are so thankful to our program underwriters for helping to make this program possible,” said LSCP outreach coordinator Megan O’Connor in a news release. “We didn’t know what to expect over the holiday season, but we were completely blown away by the support of our community. We were thrilled when Innovate Marquette signed on to cover fees for December; I’m sure that extra savings helped us reach the quarter of a million mark.”

Joe Thiel, CEO of Innovate Marquette SmartZone, said in a news release, “To serve our community is the greatest honor. Our partnership with the Love on Local program and LSCP was one way that we could show our neighbors we’re here for them, that we’re in this with them. Spurring economic support and development is why we’re here.”

Businesses interested in a no-cost Love on Local promotional marketing kit with detailed information on the program should email loveonlocal@marquette.org to sign up as a featured business. Featured businesses will receive swag, flyers and a decal for their door. Their logo will be featured on loveonlocal.com, social media and on certain marketing pieces.

Businesses do not have to be a featured business to accept the gift card.

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