Aspen residents who acquired a meals tax refund this 12 months are eligible for a $25 reward card for use at a retail retailer or a restaurant as a approach to rapidly inject cash into the native economic system.
Aspen Metropolis Council on Tuesday authorized the reward card program, which is anticipated to price $50,000 and is a part of town’s $6 million COVID-19 reduction and restoration fund.
Metropolis officers acknowledge that public well being orders, which closed non-essential companies in March because of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Aspen, are having devastating financial impacts to native retail and eating places.
The reward card program is designed to elevate up companies and folks’s spirits.
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“You’re getting people energized to go out, to have meals … for not a lot of money for a coupon you are activating a lot of different people,” Councilwoman Ann Mullins mentioned.
People who find themselves eligible can decide up the playing cards at a window in Metropolis Corridor that faces the sidewalk on Galena Avenue presumably as early as subsequent week.
The playing cards, which can be utilized one time at one location, have to be utilized by July 6.
All eating places and retail companies throughout the metropolis are eligible to take part, however usually are not required to.
The playing cards can’t be used for alcohol or marijuana.
“This is a way for the citizens of Aspen to go out and exercise that support for local business, which in turn gives that business some confidence to rehire some people and resupply,” mentioned Ron LeBlanc, particular tasks supervisor for town.
LeBlanc mentioned utilizing the checklist of residents who acquired the meals gross sales tax refund is probably the most expedient methodology to establish residents who’re eligible.
At $25 per particular person, utilizing the meals tax rebate standards, 461 seniors shall be eligible to obtain a card, equaling $11,525 and 1,082 for non-seniors, totaling $27,050.
An extra 450 playing cards shall be distributed to native nonprofit entities and the Aspen Police Division to present to people encountered by cops who want help. This portion of this system equals $11,425,
Residents ought to deliver a correct ID to Metropolis Corridor to select up their card. Window hours shall be from 9 a.m. to four p.m. Monday by Friday.
LeBlanc mentioned with council’s blessing, this system may roll out as early as subsequent week.
The final day for reward card distribution to contributors is June 12.
Companies might want to signal as much as acknowledge their willingness to just accept the reward playing cards by town’s web site. Companies shall be requested to maintain a file to substantiate the cardboard software on the invoice by preserving receipts and playing cards for proof of use.
Metropolis workers will routinely come to the companies to select up documentation and to remit cost for the mixture value of the playing cards.
If quick cost is desired, it would happen by way of a bank card transaction. If a bank card transaction will not be doable, a paper examine shall be issued and mailed.
Metropolis workers shall be designing this system and the playing cards in order that fraud and counterfeiting usually are not achievable.
Councilwoman Rachel Richards mentioned the value of the reward card is larger than the greenback quantity.
“I think a lot of people go out with $25 and spend $100,” she mentioned. “Individuals say, ‘Oh boy I can really get this thing I’ve all the time wished to attempt that was too costly however perhaps with the $25 certificates I’ll go for it.’
“I do assume it would assist folks really feel like, ‘Yeah I went out and it was safe and it was OK,’” she continued. “So reintroducing the general public, it’s just a little little bit of an incentive.”