Local store gives back with new gift card initiative

KENNEWICK, Wash — Most small businesses are still reeling from financial loss due to the pandemic. One local store owner is trying to help by giving back in the form of gift cards.

Shaun Ehlers, the owner of Free Culture Clothing in Kennewick, created the initiative because he remembers how “tough” it was to start his business.

“That was back then before COVID-19 or anything happened, so imagine how it is now,” Ehlers said.

By spending a minimum of $100 dollars at Free Culture Clothing at either of the two locations* or online, the store will purchase one $25 dollar gift card to a different local business each day through the rest of January.

Once you’ve completed your purchase, simply go onto their Facebook page and share their daily live video. Your share counts as your entry into the gift card drawing which is then announced nightly around 7 p.m.

“Not only are you supporting us and our business but you’re also supporting all these other local small businesses and helping bring new traffic to them which is the key to success right now,” Ehlers said.

Ehlers added that the initiative brings necessary “change” while letting customers try new places in the area.

“You are financially supporting these businesses by purchasing gift cards but the real gift comes from our community that is then re-gifted these cards,” Ehlers said.

Free Culture Clothing’s Facebook also helped start a new page called Shop Small Tri-Cities, which is aimed at encouraging others to buy local.

“We really have to love our mom and pop businesses. It’s not as easy for them to weather not having any foot traffic in their stores,” Ehler said. “There are definitely times when just one or two customers can truly make a difference in your month.”

*Locations:

Columbia Center Mall- 1321 N Columbia Center Blvd Ste 624, Kennewick, WA 99336

Historic Downtown Kennewick- 114 W Kennewick Ave., Kennewick, WA 99336