BROKEN BOW, NE — Custer County businesses and consumers have a little more cash in their pockets thanks to some creativity.
Custer County Economic Development’s big idea started like many ideas during the pandemic… over a Zoom call.
“We just hashed out, we have to do something,” Executive Director Andrew Ambriz said. “What does it look like and how do we do the most good with what we have?”
4 County Cash Back was born. The idea was to sell gift certificates to local businesses though an online platform and match purchases at 50 percent. Spend $50, get a $75 gift certificate
“That’s a huge help to some of these people here locally, especially when there’s not a whole lot of money to go around.”
That benefits the consumer. At the same time, the Economic Development office was cutting checks to the businesses equal to that matched amount.
“In a time where consumer sales had dropped dramatically, we are able to provide that short-term cash flow for these businesses so they can meet their obligations, keep their employees on staff, and continue to serve the community in the long-term.”
4 County Cash Back sold out in one week and has infused 300 thousand dollars into the community.
“It’s a saving grace. Because they’re closed or partially closed, their sales are down or non-existent. So the ability to have some cash on hand to meet their existing obligations… is huge.”
The program is closed now, but Ambriz says you can still shop Custer County.
Ambriz says the Economic Development office was able to fund its chunk of the money through the sale of a building and contributions from 20 different businesses.