Businesses offer half-price "Downtown Dollars"

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May 7, 2010 9:22:53 AM PDT
In this economy, a lot of businesses have probably wished they could print money. In the Ardmore Business District, they actually did it.

"Our merchants have had a really long hard winter,a long hard year and a half," says Christine Vilardo, Executive Director of the Ardmore Initiative. "So we just really needed to give them a boost."

On Monday, the Ardmore Initiative, a quasi-governmental group, began selling half-price Downtown Dollars.

The ten-dollar notes sold for five dollars, the 20-dollar notes for 10. And they can be used like cash at nearly 100 Ardmore businesses.

The Ardmore Initiative put out $7,500 to cover the half the cost -- consumers pay the rest.

"You can go anywhere from an antique store to... we have a coin shop, to 18 different restaurants," says Ardmore Initiative Board Chairman John Durso. "There are salons, insurance agents, doctor's offices, even a car dealership."

The initial allotment of 5,000 Downtown Dollars (worth $10,000) sold out in about four minutes on Monday, May 3, 2010. The Board of the Ardmore Initiative authorized the sale of another $5,000 worth of Downtown Dollars. And they all sold as well.

The Downtown Dollars will go on sale again at the Ardmore Blossoms Festival on June 6th.

"I'm thrilled that our board stepped up and authorized the release of additioinal funding so that more shoppers will be able to purchase them soon," Vilardo said.

The dollars are good for 90 days and must be used in full. You can't get change when you use them and you can't return items you purchase for cash.

For a list of merchants accepting Downtown Dollars, and for details about the June 6, 2010, sale, click here.