Shanon Davis, executive director of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, shows off a stamp card used in the chamber’s Soldotna Strong Shop Local campaign during Progress Days in Soldotna Creek Park on July 22, 2020. (Photo courtesy Shanon Davis)

Shanon Davis, executive director of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, shows off a stamp card used in the chamber’s Soldotna Strong Shop Local campaign during Progress Days in Soldotna Creek Park on July 22, 2020. (Photo courtesy Shanon Davis)

Soldotna shop local program to go live Nov. 16

Applications are now being accepted from businesses interested in participating

The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications from businesses interested in participating in the Holding Our Own Shop Local program, which will run from Nov. 16 through Dec. 16 and aims to incentivize spending at Soldotna businesses.

The City of Soldotna approved the program, which will be funded with CARES Act money and facilitated by the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, at Oct. 28’s city council meeting. According to the voucher merchant application, applications will be accepted while the program is live but businesses are encouraged to apply early.

“The sooner you sign up, the sooner consumers will have the option to choose you,” the application reads.

The program will offer two $50 vouchers to people who spend $200 or more on discretionary items at certain businesses in Soldotna City limits. Discretionary purchases include those made on things like clothing, furniture, tools, art, jewelry, haircuts or at places like restaurants, cafes and bars, among others.

Non-discretionary purchases, which are not eligible under the program, include things like groceries, gas, utilities rent, mortgage or medical bills.

Businesses interested in participating in the voucher program must:

  • Have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and have location in Soldotna city limits
  • Have a valid Alaska business license as of Jan. 1, 2020
  • Be current in sales tax registration with the borough
  • Not be delinquent with the borough tax department
  • Not be national chain that own and operates a premise in Soldotna, or a C corporation traded on the U.S. stock exchange

When applying to participate, interested businesses will be asked to self-certify that they were financially impacted by COVID-19, to provide a description of the impact, to provide a copy of their business license if they are not a member of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce and to provide proof that they are registered to pay sales tax with the Kenai Peninsula Borough. Proof of registration can be submitted as a copy of the business’ sales tax certificate, a quarterly filing or by providing their borough account number from their online sales tax registration.

Patrons interested in participating in the program will be asked to submit up to 10 receipts from qualifying businesses totalling at least $200. Receipts must be readable, itemized and must show the date, the name of the business and the full total. Taxes, deliver fees and shipping costs cannot be included in the total purchase amount. Receipts will be able to be submitted via an online form or in person at the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce.

Each household is only allowed to enter the program and receive vouchers once and vouchers must be spent by Dec. 31, 2020.

Once receipts have been submitted, patrons will choose from a provided list two businesses from which they would like to receive their $50 vouchers. Both vouchers can be from the same business. Vouchers will either be mailed to patrons or can be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce. Businesses interested in participating in the program can apply online or print out the online application and submit it in person or mail it to the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce.

Businesses who mail in their application should address it:

Soldotna Chamber of Commerce

Attn: Holding Our Own Soldotna Shop Local Program

44790 Sterling Hwy.

Soldotna, AK 99669

More information on the shop local program can be found at https://visitsoldotna.com/shoplocal/, by calling 907-262-9814 or by emailing ShopLocal@SoldotnaChamber.com. The online application can be found at https://www.jotform.com/form/203036234970147

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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