February 8, 2021
Downtown Gift Card Sales Increase 18% in 2020
MDA Program Has $3.6 Million Dollar Impact on Missoula
The Missoula Downtown Association (MDA) sold more than $430,000 in Downtown Gift Cards in 2020, an increase of 18% in sales compared to 2019. Downtown supporters purchased 10,938 cards in 2020, compared to 7,220 in 2019 with 80% of sales occurring online at www.missouladowntown.com. While the COVID-19 pandemic certainly played a role in sales, the program has grown steadily since transitioning from paper to plastic in 2010. That year, the MDA sold just over $140,000 in cards, so the program has grown more than 200% in 10 years.
From 2010-2020, the MDA sold more than $2.8 million dollars in Downtown Gift Cards, and MDA member businesses have redeemed more than $2.2 million dollars in sales during that same time period. The economic impact of those redemptions is extraordinary. Primary spending keeps 100% of those dollars circulating in the local economy, and secondary spending impact represents an additional $3.6 million dollars of spending in Missoula. Currently more than 200 Missoula-area businesses are MDA members that accept Downtown Gift Cards.
“For more than 20 years the MDA’s Downtown Gift Card Program has been one of most customer-friendly and financially-beneficial ways for customers to show their support for small, local businesses in our city, especially those businesses in Missoula’s Historic Downtown,” said Scott Sproull, Owner of Hide & Sole since 1975. “What started out as a ‘maybe we should try that idea’ has blossomed into a very convenient and flexible way for locals and visitors to support over 200 local businesses. Our customers obviously love to receive Downtown Gift Cards from family and friends, and we appreciate that so many people want to use their Downtown Gift Cards in our store. Thank you Missoulians and visitors for showing this type of extra support for our own small local footwear business these last 20+ years that the MDA Gift Card Program has existed!”
The Missoula Downtown Association is a membership-based business organization with more than 550 members. Benefits include the gift card program, networking socials, general marketing (Shop Small, Dine Local, etc.), sector specific marketing, advocacy, master plan investment, and community events and festivals to draw visitors and residents to the heart of Missoula.
The MDA invests more than $25,000 annually into the Downtown Gift Card program, a small amount for the size and scope of the program. A portion of MDA membership dues pays for the program, and additional funds are allocated for marketing and community outreach. There are no additional costs – aside from membership dues – to participate in the program, and businesses do not need to be located Downtown to be an MDA member and enroll in the program.
In 2020, six MDA members businesses saw $10,000 or more in sales from the Downtown Gift Card program. More than 80 businesses generated at least $1,000 in sales. The top 10 MDA members that generated the most sales from Downtown Gift Cards in 2020 were the Good Food Store, Grizzly Liquor, Hide & Sole, the Iron Horse, Rockin’ Rudy’s, Runner’s Edge, Tamarack Brewing Company, the Thomas Meager Bar, the Trail Head, and 1889 Steakhouse. Businesses old and new are enrolled in the program, which provides a multitude of options for the recipient.
This vital benefit of membership with the MDA helps with marketing member businesses and keeps spending in the local economy. Businesses interested in learning more about the Downtown Gift Card program or joining the Missoula Downtown Association can contact Membership & Events Director Chelsee Kucera ([email protected]).
“The Downtown Gift Card program is one of the best benefits of membership with the Missoula Downtown Association, said Todd Frank, owner of the Trail Head, a Downtown destination retail store since 1974. “The program allows customers to purchase a card that can be redeemed at hundreds of locally-owned businesses in Missoula. A business can buy employees a card for the holidays and be certain that the employee finds just the right gift, be it a great dinner or something from one of the amazing retail stores in Downtown Missoula. To me the most important thing is that the program supports locally-owned, independent businesses – almost exclusively. In today’s world, that is very hard to do.”
Downtown Gift Cards can be purchased at the Downtown Missoula Partnership office (218 E. Main St.), the MSO Hub (140 N. Higgins), or online at www.missouladowntown.com/downtown-gift-card/, and options are available for shipping or local pickup at the Downtown Missoula Partnership office (218 E. Main).
For more information on the Downtown Missoula Gift Card program, visit www.missouladowntown.com, or contact the Downtown Missoula Partnership office via phone (406-543-4238) or email ([email protected]).
Downtown Missoula: Connecting Our Community!