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Newberg tries gift card program to help support local businesses

City leaders want to help small businesses that struggled during the pandemic.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The City of Newberg has a new program — The Berg Gift Card  — that's meant to help small businesses that struggled during the pandemic.

"The last two years have been interesting to say the least," said Jennifer Sitter owner of Pulp & Circumstance who is part of the program. "We were part of the shutdown, so we had to close."

Sitter said luckily her store was able to pull through the pandemic. She said programs like this are crucial.

"The hardest was having to shutdown," Sitter said. "Having to layoff my employees was horrible."

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The gift card isn't exclusive to just one store and city officials are hoping it will encourage people to shop around and explore various businesses in the Newberg area.

The program is a collaboration between entities like the Newberg Chamber of Commerce and the Newberg Downtown Coalition. It was created using a grant from the city as an economic investment. 

"Downtown is the heart of a city as everyone know," Molly Olsen with the downtown coalition said. "Shopping local means the money you spend stays in the community."

Newberg has made a lot of headlines in the past year due to political issues involving the schoolboard. Olsen said she worries this could effect tourism.

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"I've heard that indeed it has hurt some of the tourism," Olsen said. "I think what we are experiencing in this country is tough."

Olsen said she wants to assure everyone that Newberg is a welcoming place to shop. 

"If you go downtown, you will see all people are welcome signs all over," Olsen said. "I would say it's a very welcoming and nice community."

If people are interested in the gift card program, they can go to the cities' website for more information.

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