Sunday, January 25, 2009

Uptown Westerville is a Place for The Uptown Gift Card

The current issue of Westerville Magazine features a story by Anna Gerber about The Uptown Gift Card.

The Uptown Gift Card is welcomed and sold at 17 select Uptown Westerville merchants:

It's a great way to wrap Uptown Westerville and give a future memory to your favorite people!

The Westerville Uptown Merchants Association and its Members encourage you to Buy at Home!

Here's the article:

Keeping it Local

Uptown Merchants introduce electronic gift card

By Anna Gerber

In an effort to create more recognition of Westerville businesses and encourage residents to shop locally, the Westerville Uptown Merchants Association (WUMA) has introduced the Uptown Westerville Gift Card.

The electronic card launched Oct. 31 and can be used at any of the 17 participating Uptown Westerville merchants, most of which are on State Street between College Avenue and Home Street. Cards can be purchased in any denomination at all of the participating merchants, and they can be reloaded when their balance is low.

The association has been discussing the possibility of starting a gift card program for more than a year.

“We wanted to go forward with it this year so we could have it for the holidays,” says Kriss Rogers, owner of Outside Envy, a gift store on North State Street specializing in outdoor and patio décor.

After looking at other places in the region that successfully implemented a gift card program, WUMA decided to use the town of Hudson as a model. The Hudson gift card launched in 2002 and was the first citywide gift card in the United States. Today, more than 70 local businesses, shops and restaurants participate in Hudson’s gift card program.

“It’s something really different for us. It puts us in the same league as Easton and other malls, and gives us more of an identity,” Rogers says. Rogers took over the project after its initial stages. The merchants association paid for the initial setup of the program and Uptown merchants can enroll in the program for free. Other retailers can enroll for a small fee. All merchants are required to pay a minimal monthly fee. Merchants can run the electronic gift card on a credit terminal that can integrate the gift card software or online through a “virtual” terminal.

The merchants association hopes to piggyback on the growing popularity of gift cards to bring attention to the Uptown Westerville business community. In the struggling economy, the card could also help keep dollars in Westerville. During the holidays, WUMA encouraged local companies to consider giving the cards as part of their client or staff gift programs.

As in Hudson, the association would like to add as many of the restaurants and businesses that make up Uptown Westerville as they can.

“We plan to add many more merchants as we move forward,” Rogers says.

For more information on the Uptown Westerville Gift Card, visit, or call 614-895-3689.

Anna Gerber is a contributing writer for Westerville Magazine.


These Uptown Westerville Merchants both accept and sell The Uptown Gift Card.

▪ A Gal Named Cinda Lou
▪ Amish Originals Furniture Co.
▪ Captivating Canines
▪ Déjà Vu
▪ Flowers by Doris
▪ The Dog Joint
▪ Hey Diddle Diddle
▪ It's All In The Name
▪ Java Central
▪ Joe's Service Automobile Repair
▪ Lola Belle Boutique
▪ Meza
▪ Morgan's Treasure
▪ Outside Envy
▪ Ruth Reed Antiques
▪ Serendipity Ice Cream & Coffee House
▪ Westerville Bike Shop

Editor's Note: Since publication of this article, the list of businesses that accept and sell The Uptown Gift Card has changed. There are now 17 businesses; The Dog Joint and Hey Diddle Diddle both accept and sell the gift card, while Gallery 202 does not.

Appearing in Westerville Magazine, January/February 2009

Cover image courtesy of Westerville Magazine ©2009 Columbus City Scene. All rights reserved.

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