Impact Austin Together program offers community a chance to support businesses

Published 7:01 am Saturday, May 9, 2020

Impact Austin is looking to make an impact on the community and they are doing it through a gift card program recently set up to help those affected by COVID-19.

Impact Austin Together is a program that is centered on supporting local businesses that are being hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. The idea itself came from another community that had done the same thing.

Through an online initiative, the goal is to get the money into the businesses that are struggling as quickly as possible.

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“We knew there were people in the community that are still employed that haven’t lost wages and wanted to help,” said Impact Austin Coordinator Mary Anne Duran. “This site is kind of that connector piece that brings all people and businesses to one place and supports all the businesses in the community.”

It works by going online to the Impact Austin Together website and purchasing a gift card for a specific business. An email voucher will be sent to them and they can then print it off and redeem them at the business once it’s open.

The money then moves quickly to that business with help from program partner Development Corporation of Austin.

There are three different dollar amounts of the program: $25, $50 and $100 with an added option of covering the cost of the credit card processing fees as an extra way to help out businesses who otherwise would have to pay that.

A second aspect is that program partners will match dollar for dollar on whatever is spent on gift cards, capping the funds that have been secured, which is $10,000 from the Hormel Foundation. To date, there has been $5,414 purchased in gift cards.

Hormel Foods has also committed to purchasing $5,000 in gift cards from local businesses and matching those purchases with a $5,000 donation to the Salvation Army

“That’s what we’re doing with this project, getting parameters on further expanding the impact,” Duren said. “It’s a keystone of what we’re doing.”

Duren said she has heard from businesses just how much it has helped already and that the program itself reflects the generosity of Austin.

“The businesses are really thankful for this opportunity,” she said. “They were just so grateful to have that support from the community. And we’re hearing that this has been shared in other communities. Word’s getting out past Austin.”

To buy a card or to register a business free of charge, visit: