DTSB set to start downtown dollars program

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- With Black Friday now less than a week away, the holiday shopping season is gearing into full swing.

Downtown South Bend is set to launch a new initiative to support local shopping in the city's downtown district.

Downtown Dollars is a gift certificate initiative set to start next week, on the 5th Small Business Saturday

The push includes over 50 downtown area businesses, including everything from eateries to art.

The idea is to increase economic activity in the city's downtown shopping district by allowing consumers the chance to purchase "Downtown Dollars".

"People like to shop local, they like to give business to the small business owners,” said Larry Katz, owner of Yummy Cupcakes on Michigan Street. “When you're dealing and giving money to somebody that owns a business locally, you're supporting them, their family and the community."

The “Downtown Dollars” currency comes in 10, 25 or 50 dollar bills.

Recent studies reveal that over 3 quarters out of every dollar spent locally stays within the community.

"Instead of benefiting some anonymous company somewhere, you're benefiting your neighbors," said Yvonne Desrosiers, one of the original artists at Fire Arts on Colfax Avenue. "I think there's a lot of exciting things happening in downtown South Bend,” said Desrosiers. “It's always great to have the public come out and see what we're doing."

"We're small, we're local and we're proud to be here," said Katz.

For more information, including a full list of the businesses participating in the program, visit http://www.downtownsouthbend.com.
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