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Lee County Groups Partner to Support Local Businesses

Small businesses throughout the region are taking a financial hit due to shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Economic development groups in Lee County hope to give the county's locally owned businesses a boost through a new campaign called Buy Lee County.

"We really hope that the community rallies behind our Lee County businesses and help support them as we move forward and reopen the state," said Dana Millard, Economic Development Project Director for the Lee County Economic Development Group (LCEDG).

Millard said anyone who buys $20 of Chamber Checks or Keokuk Kash will be given an extra $10 of those certificates beginning Monday, May 18.  She said the program provides an extra incentive for people to shop locally.

She said the matching money comes from LCEDG, the Keokuk Chamber, Keokuk Economic Development, Keokuk Main Street, and the Fort Madison Partners.

“We have come together as a community and as a county to speak with one voice and pool our funds to help our Lee County businesses,” Millard said.

She said the certificates can be used at any local business in the county.  Shoppers are limited to ten per person. The certificates cannot be redeemed for cash and Millard said you cannot get change back when you make a purchase. “If you purchase something for $10, instead of getting cash back those funds go to help support the local business itself.”

She said Ames, Pella, and other communities have implemented similar programs.

Certificates for Buy Lee County can be purchased from the Fort Madison Chamber of Commerce and the Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce.

This story was produced by Tri States Public Radio.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.