To assist in this challenging time, Consumers Energy and Otsego Community Foundation feel that reinvesting into the community is vital, as well as supporting small businesses and their employees. We provided a dollar-for-dollar match for DMA Bucks purchased through the DMA. Both Consumers Energy and the Otsego Community Foundation have granted $5,000 each to help make sure that shoppers have more money to spend locally when getting takeout or doing last-minute holiday shopping downtown. This was a win-win for shoppers and the matching funds were depleted in less then 24 hours. That will be $20,000 reinvested back into the community.

The “Our Town” DMA Bucks program doubled the amount shoppers can spend in small businesses. Example: $50 in DMA Bucks and got you $100 to spend locally.

“This is a timely and much-needed opportunity to help support local businesses. The Otsego Community Foundation is always looking for ways to magnify our impact in the community, and in partnership with Consumers Energy, we have done just that. The benefactors of this program stretch beyond just the participating businesses. Employees, their families, and the consumer are also winners when looking at the total impact achieved.” noted Bill Forreider, President of the OCF Board of Directors.  

Across lower Michigan, Consumers Energy is providing $3,000 to $40,000 to local organizations (a total of $500,000) where they provide electric and natural gas service. Shoppers in our area can earn the matching dollars when they buy DMA Bucks at the Gaylord Chamber of Commerce.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the communities we serve, and every community has seen those businesses feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer experience. “With ‘Our Town,’ we want to end the year by spreading cheer. We are putting dollars directly into shoppers’ hands to help them stretch their budgets and give a boost to shops and restaurants in their hometowns.”