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Althoff: Some Notes About Chamber Bucks

Althoff: Some notes about Chamber Bucks

By George Althoff
Executive Director

Over the years, the Chamber Bucks program has proven to be wildly successful. The program – now several decades old – is simple and straightforward. The Chamber sells Chamber Bucks certificates in $5, $10 and $25 increments, which can be used as cash at any participating Chamber member business. Merchants who redeem them then bring the certificates to us and they are reimbursed for the full amount at no cost to them.
In 2023 we sold more than $141,000 worth of Chamber Bucks, which could then be redeemed at more than 100 members. The program has proven to be a great way to promote spending activity at our member businesses. You can find a list of participating members on our website by clicking here.
Of course, as with any such promotion, there are guidelines and procedures that need to be followed in order to keep the program viable. If you are a business that accepts Chamber Bucks, or if you are someone who uses them, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The certificates are stamped with an expiration date that is one year following the date of purchase. Not to be Mr. Obvious here, but that means they EXPIRE. So, if you have them in your possession, use them … or run the risk of losing them.
  • If you are a merchant who accepts Chamber Bucks, train your staff to check the expiration date of the certificates before accepting them. If they are expired, then do not accept them and tell customer to contact the Chamber office.
  • Merchants have a 30-day grace period in which to receive reimbursement from the Chamber. For example, if you have accepted Chamber Bucks that were dated to expire on March 4, 2024, then you would have until April 3 to bring them in for reimbursement. That’s why it’s important that merchants get in the habit of seeking reimbursement on at least a quarterly basis. If your business receives a high volume of Chamber Bucks, then you should redeem them monthly.
  • If you are in possession of Chamber Bucks that are close to their expiration date and for some reason you are unable to spend them, you may bring them to the Chamber office for a one-time exchange for certificates that will have an extended expiration date. You will then be cajoled, prodded, urged and otherwise encouraged by Chamber staff members to SPEND them.
  • If you are a business that purchases Chamber Bucks for employee incentives, please emphasize to your employees that expiration dates are enforced and that the certificates should be spent.
    Our goal is to have the Chamber Bucks program continue to bring value to many of our members for decades to come. With your cooperation, we will make that happen. And a big thank you to those members who purchase Chamber Bucks for use as employee incentives and rewards. Your support of the Chamber – and the Baraboo Area business community – is greatly appreciated.

Save the date for Chamber Golf Classic
The biggest Chamber fundraiser of the year is just around the corner. On Tuesday, June 18, 144 of our finest members and supporters will tee it up at Baraboo Country Club for a day of fun, frivolity and prizes, capped off with dinner at the Fore Seasons Restaurant. Of course, there may also be a few fermented malt beverages consumed along the way.
The theme for this year’s event is pretty straightforward – Chamber Golf Classic. No need to dress up like Darth Vader, Happy Gilmore or one of the Festrunk Brothers. There will be prizes awarded for best dressed, so plan on showing up in your finest golf apparel. Unfortunately, Las Vegas bookies have already installed Sarah Fay from The Jeweler’s Edge as a 10-1 favorite to walk away with the first-place prize.
The event begins with a shotgun start at 11 a.m. Registration details will be announced soon. Keep watch in our weekly email blasts and on our social media channels.

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