CCPRCC President Julie Brisson, Russell Township Mayor Pierre Leroux and Paul Doré, director general of the Caisse populaire Nouvel-Horizon, unveil the new “Chamberdollars” launched by the Prescott Russell Chamber of Commerce at the Embrun Ford showroom on Thurs., March 8. Vetter photo
EMBRUN – On Thurs., March 8, the Prescott-Russell Chamber of Commerce (CCPRCC) officially launched its new Chamberdollars at a news conference held in the Embrun Ford showroom on Notre Dame St.
The Chamberdollars will be available in $10 and $20 denominations and are being launched to promote local buying.
“Encouraging local buying is one of the Chamber’s main objectives,” said CCPRCC President Julie Brisson at the news conference. “Local businesses contribute to our communities’ vitality. They create jobs, they sponsor our events, and most importantly, they contribute a significant share of the revenues of our municipalities. Local owners and employees are often our neighbours and friends.”
She explained, in English and French, that the Chamberdollars will be an option to gift cards that can be purchased in many local stores or can be given to preferred customers. They can also be purchased at the Caisse populaire Nouvel-Horizon, which is also where businesses which have accepted them as cash can exchange them for legal tender. The Caisse has branches in Embrun, Casselman and St. Isidore.
They can only be spent in participating local businesses. The objective is to encourage local shopping by introducing a type of currency which is only usable in the area. The Chamber is encouraging its members to buy Chamberdollars and give them as a token of appreciation to clients and employees. The CCPRCC will also take advantage of various opportunities to hand them out.
Brisson gave an example of how they work. “If the customer comes here, at Embrun Ford, for an oil change, he will be able to pay using his Chamberdollars. At the end of the day, Embrun Ford can include them in their current deposit if they already do business with the Caisse populaire or exchange them at the Caisse for ‘real currency’. “
A card given out at the launch suggests Chamberdollars can be used to “express your appreciation to clients or employees with Chamberdollars. In so doing, you’ll be encouraging other local businesses.”
Paul Doré, director general of the Caisse, also spoke at the event, along with Russell Township Mayor Pierre Leroux, then they unveiled a poster of the new bills.
The Chamberdollars are printed on a special currency paper so they can’t be reproduced. The first printing will be of 600 $10 bills and 400 $20 bills. They should be in circulation in April.
The CCPRCC was founded 15 years ago following the amalgamation of the Embrun, Casselman and St. Isidore chambers. It represents 125 members with business in the townships of Russell and The Nation and the Village of Casselman.