Economic partners pitch in for “Buy Lee County” campaign

LEE COUNTY – The Keokuk Chamber, Economic Development and Main Street, Fort Madison Chamber of Commerce and Lee County EDG have partnered together to launch “Buy Lee County”, an initiative to stimulate the local economy after the COVID-19 shut downs hit local businesses.

Buy Lee County is an incentive to shop locally by giving $10 extra on a $20 purchase of Chamber Checks or Keokuk Kash.

“Fort Madison Chamber, Keokuk Chamber and Lee County Economic Development are all supporting this incentive financially to give back to our community. We’re looking forward to helping those who always help us!” says Savanna Collier, Fort Madison Chamber Coordinator.

While we’re practicing social distancing to prevent the spread, it’s very important that we support our local businesses here in Lee County as well. Most of our favorite restaurants and stores are offering curbside pickup, delivery, or online shopping options.

The certificates can be used for purchases and services at any Keokuk or Fort Madison Chamber of Commerce member.

LCEDG Project Director Dana Millard said three organizations are pooling resources to help fund the additional value.

“It’s a match from LCEDG and the chambers who have pooled to their resources to fund the difference,” Millard said Thursday.

She said the groups have been meeting weekly during the outbreak to keep communications current on economic development efforts.

“We want to make sure communications are going out to our constituents and be part of the discussion as they start to reopen,” she said.

“We wanted to help stimulate the economy. How can we get dollars go back into those businesses? Other communities across the state that have done something similar have had some success.”

Together, this group is using the Fort Madison Chamber and Keokuk Chamber’s certificate programs to create an influx of money being spent locally.

The Chamber Check and Keokuk Kash programs promote buying local by allowing these checks to only be used in Lee County.

“As organizations we have been working together to provide webinars to our local businesses, we also wanted to create a program to provide an opportunity for local stimulus for Lee County businesses,” said Shelley Oltmans, Executive Director of the Keokuk Chamber,

“We made the decision to use our existing Chambers’ certificate programs. The Chamber Check and Keokuk Kash programs promote shopping local by allowing these checks to be used in Lee County.”

The group will be hosting a Lee County Q&A Session on May 12th for any business that would like more information about the program. Businesses can register at Lee County EDG’s COVID-19 web page or by contacting Dana Millard at

Certificates will be available to purchase May 18th. Each Chamber will have 250 certificates each valued at $30 available for purchase for $20 each. In order to allow equal opportunity for people and businesses to purchase, there is a limit of 10 checks; a $200 purchase. Individuals or businesses that would like to purchase more than 10 checks, will receive the match for the first 10 checks only, but will be recognized as a community sponsor for their large purchase.

Chamber Checks and Keokuk Kash have no cash value and cannot be redeemed for cash. For information on uses and expirations, please contact your local Chamber office.

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