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Downtown Cambridge BIA launching local gift card program

A new way to shop local is coming to the downtown core
The Downtown Cambridge gift card program is a new way to support local businesses.

Supporting local will soon be as simple as swiping a gift card.

The Downtown Cambridge BIA is unveiling the new program in hopes of driving business to the city’s core.

Some residents may remember the gift certificate that was previously available. The gift card is a revised version of that initiative.

“Administering the former program was challenging for both the BIA and businesses, especially during the pandemic when paper certificates were less desirable,” Brian Kennedy, executive director of the Downtown Cambridge BIA said. 

“We wanted to evolve our program to better lock in funds to our downtown businesses and provide a seamless buying experience for the purchaser and the recipient to be able to use the gift card at our local shops.”

The gift cards will be accepted at any participating business. A total of 38 businesses are currently enrolled, with more inquiring by the day Kennedy says.

A list of businesses that accept the card can be viewed online or via a decal on their storefront. One major difference from the certificate is change won't be given, but is added back to the card.

“It's perfect for gifting, the Downtown Cambridge Gift Card supports local shopping while providing the gift of choice to shop at one or multiple participating businesses,” Kennedy said.

“The gift card carries the remaining balance with the customer to use at another business and ensures that money is locked into our local economy. Funds do not expire, and no fees diminish the balance.”

Kennedy points out that the gift card will be used for campaign giveaways, incentives and more in support of shopping locally. He hopes residents take full advantage of this unique opportunity.

“It makes for an excellent gift for many occasions; birthdays, Christmas, wedding presents, staff rewards and more,” he said.

“As our downtown business community continues its recovery efforts from the pandemic, shopping local and finding ways to advocate for supporting our local businesses is vital. This is an excellent opportunity to gift the experience for others to shop locally and enjoy shopping at 38 plus shops in downtown Cambridge.”

The program is permanent and includes a physical card that is mailed to those who purchase one. 

Gift cards can be purchased through the Downtown Cambridge BIA website by visiting