Ronda Graff

Community Connections

News and views from the McCook Community Foundation Fund


An opportunity to be intentional

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Every day, we make choices.

We make the choice about what we will wear, what food we put into our bodies, what time we will get out of bed. For a couple of my kids, that is closer to lunch than to breakfast these days.

Many of these decisions are made without much thought, but right now we have the chance to be very intentional about those choices.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime to be very intentional and make lasting changes to our families, to our community, to our country and ultimately to our world.

As this crisis moves from weeks into months, there are a variety of ways to change your own personal world and create a “new normal.” You can be intentional about where you devote your energy. You can be intentional about who you spend your time with. And you can be intentional about where you spend your money.

The McCook Community Foundation Fund is hoping to provide incentive when it comes to where to spend your money with COVID Cash Certificates.

MCFF provided a $10,000 grant for McCook Christian Church to coordinate the McCook Stimulus Spending Program, which rolls out Monday.

It’s pretty simple. Volunteers from McCook Christian Church will man a table in an office located in the Keystone Business Center on Norris Ave. During the week from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-7 p.m., anyone 18 and older can show up with cash or a credit card and purchase COVID Cash Certificates, a minimum of $100 and a maximum of $500. For every $100 you purchase, you receive an extra $20 in certificates. So you could leave with up to $600 in certificates which can then be spent at more than 100 businesses in the community. Hopefully, they are spent immediately, but they just be spent by Sept. 1, 2020.

It is a win-win. Consumers receive bonus funds from their hard-earned dollars while businesses receive a much-needed infusion of cash when those certificates are spent at their location.

This is especially important in the upcoming weeks as the federal stimulus checks start to arrive directly into checking accounts and into mailboxes.

The easy button would be to go online and shop, but then all those dollars are flowing out of our local economy. But at the end of the day, none of those dollars from those purchases will benefit your community aside from a few minutes the delivery driver spend dropping a package off at the front door.

When you spend locally, you are essentially making an investment in that business. You are making a conscious decision to re-invest in your community. And that investment will pay dividends down the road through employees who receive a paycheck and then go spend it at another store in town; through a restaurant serving dinner so you don’t have to the dishes; or through a hardware staying open so you buy a thingy-bob to finish the bathroom remolding project.

The McCook Stimulus Spending Program isn’t the only way to show your support for local businesses.

Continue to order out from local restaurants on Take-Out Tuesday. Buy gift cards through the McCook Chamber of Commerce’s Shop McCook Program at shopmccook.org.

And “Keep McCook Rolling Cruise Nights,” spearheaded by Wagner Auto Group, are planned for every Friday during April and May, offering ample opportunities to support businesses. I know my family ended up at three different restaurants and one store on McCook’s first cruise night two weeks ago, so we are doing our part to keep the economy going. Red Willow County Tourism is even planning Cruise Night Clues, so follow those on Facebook.

One of the most re-shared memes on social media is the fact that year-in, year-out, businesses are asked for donations toward sports programs, fund-raisers, field-trips…the list is endless. Now it’s our turn to show our support by intentionally patronizing these same businesses. Because if we don’t, they may not be here when this is over.

These entrepreneurs have taken a chance - and probably most of their life savings - to start these businesses. Now this is our opportunity to be very intentional toward our community.

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  • What businesses take them?

    -- Posted by bob s on Thu, Apr 16, 2020, at 11:28 AM
    Response by Bruce Crosby, Editor, McCook Gazette:
    They are still building a list that will be available when they go on sale.
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