Downtown Riverhead is rolling out a new way to give the gift of local this holiday season.

The Riverhead BID is offering “Downtown Dollars” digital gift cards that can be used at participating downtown shops and restaurants.

“Downtown Dollars is a community-based digital gift card that makes it fun and easy to keep local spending local,” the Riverhead BID said in a press release today.

“Participating in this program means supporting the heart of what makes our community unique,” the BID said. The purchase of a Downtown Dollars eGift Card creates a pool of cash that local businesses can rely on, it said.

Downtown Dollars digital gift cards can be purchased here.

“Studies have shown that local independent retailers recirculate 47% of their revenue back into the community, while only 14% of national chains’ revenue stays in the community,” according to the BID press release. “More dramatically, restaurants recirculate 73% of their revenue back into the community, versus only 30% for national chains,” the release said.

The BID is urging residents and people who work in Riverhead to support local businesses and keep more money circulating through the local community in the form of wages paid to local workers, goods and services procured locally for internal use or resale, charitable giving within the community and profits paid to local business owners.

“2020 has been a year of re-imagination, innovation, and creation for our BID,” Riverhead BID executive director Kristy Verity said.

“A very exciting thing about our new Downtown Dollars digital gift card is that the community plays a big part in the success of the program,” Verity said.

“Every time Downtown Dollars are purchased and used, we know that funds are rotating through Riverhead and directly impacting our small businesses in a big way,” she said. “It’s a feel-good program all around, for the public and the businesses, and we all need some feel-good vibes right now.”

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.