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“Bonus Bucks” program encourages shopping and dining in Salt Lake City

(Downtown Salt Lake City, where industry analysts say hotels are still struggling for customers. Credit: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY– The COVID-19 pandemic has hit small local businesses hard in downtown Salt Lake City. However, the Downtown Alliance is hoping a new program will encourage people to spend money at local businesses in the area with “Bonus Bucks.” 

The program gives shoppers “Bonus Bucks” to spend downtown when they buy a Downtown Dollars eCard through Yiftee, the Alliance announced Monday.

The Downtown Dollars electronic gift card can be spent at many downtown businesses. And organizers say it’s quite simple. All shoppers need to do is show the eGift card on their mobile devices at participating retailers to make a purchase. The eCard can be used by the consumer themselves or they can gift it to someone else. 

“This is a win for people that love shopping, dining and playing downtown and a win for all the participating businesses,” Downtown Alliance Executive Director Dee Brewer said. 

How Bonus Bucks work 

“Bonus Bucks” are essentially free money. The eCard offers different levels of spending with corresponding bonus amounts added at the time the card is purchased. So, the amount of Bonus Bucks received with the program depends on how much you load onto the eCard. 

“For example, when you buy $75 in Downtown Dollars you automatically receive $25 in Bonus Bucks. You can spend that $100 at any of the participating businesses,” Brewer explained. 

The limited-time offer of Bonus Bucks offer is made possible by the Shop In Utah grant. The Bonus Bucks offer will expire on Dec. 31, 2020, or when grant funds run out. However, the bucks must be spent by May 31, 2021. 

You can buy Downtown Dollars to receive the Bonus Bucks here. 

Where you can spend Bonus Bucks 

Downtown Salt Lake is home to more than 250 local businesses. So far, 32 businesses in the downtown area are participating in Downtown Dollars. 

Check out the full list of businesses here. And if you don’t see your favorite business listed, have them contact derek@downtownslc.org to enroll. 

Related: SLC launches Open Street program to increase foot traffic downtown