SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — While many Americans wait for a federal stimulus package, local bank employees are depositing some good will into the economy. Most businesses are shutting down fully or partially to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions. First Dakota National Bank is trying to ease the burden of uncertainty through a new program.
These days, takeout orders aren’t just for food. Child’s Play Toys owner Nancy Savage closed her store on Monday, and is relying on internet and to-go sales.
“People can pull up, give us a call and we can run a bag out to the car,” Savage said.
Chris Conrad already shopped at Child’s Play Toys via a video call. On Wednesday, he stopped by to pick up his order of toys. He plans to donate them to a local daycare. It’s part of an effort from First Dakota National Bank, which is giving employees $148 to spend at local businesses.
“In whatever way they see fit. There’s really no sort of restrictions on what we can do. It’s just to try to make an impact the best we can,” Conrad said.
In total, First Dakota employees from all communities are spending $60,000 to boost the local economy. They can spend it however they want, as long as it stays local.
“Spend it! As long as it stays local, we’re good with it. Buy your family a meal from the local restaurant. Buy retailer gift cards for your neighbor who just got laid off. Give the delivery person a giant tip so he can cover his kids’ daycare for another week. Stock up at the hardware store. You get to decide. Just spend it,” First Dakota National Bank said in a news release.
The rules stipulate they can’t use it at internet giants, big box stores or for online subscription services.
Savage says the gesture is worth a lot to local businesses struggling right now.
“It’s just hard to see that and I worry about my friends,” Savage said.
Conrad says First Dakota employees are proud to try to make a difference. These days, every takeout order is a kindness you are putting back into our empty stores in our community.
“We’re all going through this together, you know. Anything we can do as a group to kind of help keep the economy going in these times, where a lot of things are shut down. We’re trying to do everything we can to help out,” Conrad said.