JEFFERSON — A Jefferson supermarket is doing its part to help local businesses negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly, 921 W. Racine St., is offering gift cards for purchase in support of Jefferson businesses that have closed temporarily or limited their hours through April 24 as part of Gov. Tony Ever’s “Safer at Home” initiative.

Piggly Wiggly store owner Alex Malicki said those interested in buying gift cards should visit the Piggly Wiggly customer service desk and ask for a list of participating vendors.

Offers likely will differ from vendor to vendor, he said. Customers can learn about each vendor’s offer at the time of the card’s purchase or through the websites of those businesses participating. Cards can be purchased using credit or debit cards, cash or check.

Businesses interested in participating in the new program are asked to provide a tracking sheet, which will be kept at the customer service desk. Piggly Wiggly will provide an envelope for each participating store to organize gift cards supplied by the store and its tracking sheet.

Participating vendors can drop off a tracking sheet and cards at the customer service desk during regular store hours: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Early store hours, from 6 to 8 a.m., are reserved for customers with conditions that might make them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19.

Participating businesses will receive a check representing the amount of gift cards sold every Monday, Malicki said.

Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jen Pinnow noted that the program is new and the list of participating vendors is just starting to develop.

“Businesses have been instructed to drop off their gift cards directly to Piggly Wiggly. The chamber will be supporting the program through social media,” Pinnow said.

Those interested in learning more may contact Pinnow by calling (920) 674-4511 or through email at director@jeffersonchamberwi.com.

Meanwhile, Fort Atkinson Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carrie Chisholm lauded the idea, saying that this is an important time for area residents to support local businesses.

The Fort Atkinson chamber each year sells more than $200,000 in chamber gift certificates, which can be used at 300-plus businesses.

Those businesses can be found in the member directory at fortchamber.com.

“Those gift certificates can also be used to purchase gift cards. The chamber is still taking orders for gift certificates and happy to mail them to purchasers until the Safe-At-Home mandate is lifted," Chisholm said. "We are working on an e-commerce site so people can order online, but in the meantime, they are welcome to call or email us, and we’ll mail them out"

Whitewater Area Chamber of Commerce Board President Lisa Dawsey Smith said the chamber is developing a list of “Who’s Open” to share with the community. Available gift cards can be found through social media. For those interested in gift cards or the “Who’s Open” list, email the chamber at info@whitewaterchamber.com.

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