New Downtown Easton Gift Cards, unveiled Friday, will be accepted at more than 55 business locations in the city.
Rolled out to boost downtown business for the holiday season, the cards can be used as payment at restaurants, retail, salons and service businesses.
They will be promoted on billboards and radio advertising in the coming weeks.
Called the first gift cards of their kind in the Lehigh Valley, they work like preloaded credit cards with participating merchants.
Customers can purchase the cards for any denomination from $5 to $500.
They also can be used in downtown credit card parking meters.
“This is an exciting program that unifies our downtown merchants and gives customers the chance to try a new business or support their favorite one," said Kim Kmetz, manager of Easton Main Street Inititative (EMSI).
She called the card a one-size-fits-all gift with plentiful options.
The gift cards can be purchased at the Easton Main Street Initiative office at 35 S. Third St., the Sigal Museum at 342 Northampton St. and online.
There are a couple of catches. A $2 per card activation fee is paid at the time of purchase. And card holders will be assessed $3 monthly fees if their cards are inactive for more than 12 months.
A full list of participating merchants can be found on the EMSI web page.
Kmetz indicated the success of the program will be measured after the holidays, when local merchants expect most of the gift cards to be put to use. "We are anxious to see how this will affect our downtown merchants after the holidays," she said.
Easton Hospital is sponsoring the gift card program.