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The Seward Chamber of Commerce has reported that its Shop Seward CARES Act fund program proved a tremendous success for area businesses and nonprofits. Over 200 households participated in the program, each spending over $200 on participating businesses, which granted them another $100 in vouchers to be further redeemed in $25 increments at the businesses or nonprofits of their choice.

"We are so excited about the outcome from the Shop Seward program!” said Shop Seward Spokesperson Kat Sorensen. “We were able to infuse the CARES Act funds with local spending to create an all around successful program that put over $60,000 into the local businesses and nonprofits of Seward. Anecdotally, we've heard great things from business owners, nonprofits and shoppers alike. I was so excited to get my vouchers, that I spent them in one afternoon.”

Over a six day period that included Valentine’s Day weekend, shoppers spent more than $42,000 locally, resulting in 836 vouchers distributed among three local nonprofits and 31 businesses, totaling an additional $20,175 for businesses and $850 in nonprofit donations.

“We are so glad that we participated in the Shop Small event!” said Stacy Lane owner of The Cookery and The Lone Chicharron restaurants. “It brought in customers during an otherwise quiet time of year.”

The deadline for voucher redemption was March 31, but all participating organizations received funding equal to the respective value of total vouchers issued to each, regardless of whether customers redeemed them by the deadline.