Downtown Dollars help make it easy to spend with local businesses

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 31, 2023

SALISBURY — Downtown Salisbury has grown to become a major hub of shops, restaurants and boutiques that people frequently visit. Keeping the money that’s generated here in Salisbury instead of somewhere like Charlotte is greatly beneficial for the city, and to help do that, customers shopping downtown can use Downtown Dollars instead of regular cash.

Downtown Dollars was a program started by Downtown Salisbury Inc. and they can be purchased anytime at the city hall building on South Main Street, preferably with cash or card, but checks are acceptable. The certificates come in $5 increments and can only be spent at participating downtown businesses. When people spend the Downtown Dollars, those same businesses turn them into Downtown Salisbury Inc. to get reimbursed.

“We always say it makes the perfect gift for individuals, corporations, civic groups, for anyone that is wanting to support buying local,” Downtown Salisbury Events Coordinator Latoya Price said. Especially for new businesses, Price says they try to get them involved by focusing on the fact that this helps keep the money in downtown Salisbury. “Most people do opt-in for it since it’s like a gift certificate. It’s just a matter of figuring out everybody’s POS (point of sale) systems and getting that included in their POS.”

Downtown Dollars can be used year-round, and even though they expire, Price confirms they work with businesses on a case-by-case basis when someone spends them. However, businesses can’t give back change on purchases. If something costs $32 and a customer uses $35 in Downtown Dollars, they will not receive change and the businesses keep the difference. The option is to use instead $30 in Downtown Dollars and pay the difference out of pocket.

“That way, the money stays in the community,” Price said.

Downtown Salisbury offers a variety of things to do and has developed into one of the best spots around for friends and family to spend money and time together. When Downtown Salisbury Inc. has a good relationship with local businesses it benefits all parties, especially potential shoppers, she noted.

“This is a way that connects us as an organization with our downtown merchants with something simple and fun for the customer in our community,” Price said.