Lake View East merchants create gift card to keep cash in the neighborhood

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Don't know exactly what Christmas gift to get that Lake View yuppie who has everything?

How 'bout a neighborhood gift card? What's a neighborhood gift card, you ask?

Well, keep reading — especially if you want to learn how to get a free $50 gift card for yourself.

The Lake View East Chamber of Commerce is hawking a "first-of-its-kind 'hood-centric prepaid gift card.

And it's "just in time for the holiday shopping season," local merchants announced yesterday.

The idea is to keep folks spending cash locally, chamber executive director Maureen Martino says.

It's a shopping mall (gift card) concept in an open air environment," she says. "Many businesses are owned by individuals and we want to make sure they stay very healthy, wealthy during the holiday season and all year long. As property taxes keep going up it becomes very difficult for small businesses to stay afloat."

So their answer is the gift card — which has a pretty picture of sailboats on it. About 100 Lake View businesses — from bars, flowershops and boutiques to diners, Walgreens, Starbucks — have signed on to accept the card. For a full list of shops, click here.

You can buy a gift card (from $5 to $500) online or at the chamber office, 3138 N. Broadway.

If you want that free $50 gift card.
Just bring $300 in receipts from businesses in the Lake View East footprint — only $100 of those receipts can be for groceries and booze — to the chamber office and you'll walk out with 50 bucks of credit to use at local shops between Nov. 26 and Dec. 25. For more details, click here.

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Great. Now all I have to do is spend $100,000 to $200,000 on my PHD, $800,000 on a condo, $500 on a pocket pooch, $50.00 on a designer briefs, $90,000 on a new Corvette, and $300.00 on various items from the Lakeview East footprint. I can't wait to get that $50 gift card. But wait a minute; I've got a fifty under my couch cushion-totally forgot I left that there. Ugh- It's not as glamorous, but it'll do.
With the sub-prime meltdown in full effect, most of these yuppies are probably using their fancy gift cards to purchase fire wood to toss into the ol' dumpster furnace.

Oh, take that Lakeview... take that.

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Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Konkol published on November 15, 2007 11:26 AM.

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