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Community relief program established

by Cassidy Kendall The Sentinel-Record | April 2, 2020 at 4:00 a.m.
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The program #SupportSpaCity, a "buy one, give one" community relief effort that benefits both local businesses and community members in financial crisis due to COVID-19, has been established, according to The Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce.

"People who are wanting to support local businesses are encouraged to buy gift cards to their favorite local businesses through the website knowing their purchase will go farther with the help of a one-to-one match from the HSACF (Hot Springs Area Community Foundation) for those in need," a news release from the Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday. "It's a great way to support our community from home."

According to the release, the relief program is a combined effort from the Chamber, HSACF and Cooperative Christian Ministries and Clinic.

"This program is designed to quickly get cash in the hands of local small businesses and to give grocery relief to those individuals who have experienced a loss or reduction of employment due to the COVID-19 health crisis," the release said, noting, "Garland County residents can apply for grocery assistance on the website ( and must prove they are experiencing a loss or reduction in employment due to COVID-19."

Local businesses will receive 100% of the gift card proceeds.

"Many of our local businesses and consequently their employees are facing challenging and unprecedented times and desperately need the help of our local community to stay afloat as we navigate through this coronavirus crisis," Chamber CEO Gary Troutman said in the release.

Businesses that can participate in the program include bars, restaurants, hospitality, attractions, retail, health and beauty.

For every dollar in gift cards sold on the website, the HSACF will match that dollar for dollar in donations to CCMC who will award grocery gift cards to local employees who have lost their jobs or had a partial reduction in employment due to the COVID-19 emergency, the release said.

"Wanting to get the project off the ground quickly, we were pleased to be able to raise the initial $25,000 matching funds within six days," HSACF Executive Director Joyce Whitfield said in the release. " ... Our community members are known for pulling together when others have been more affected than themselves. I'm personally pledging my federal stimulus check to the cause, and challenging those of us who truly haven't sensed the same sort of loss that others have, to help us with #SupportSpaCity."

Contributions to the matching assistance funds may be sent to HSACF at P.O. Box 56, Hot Springs, AR 71902, or be made online at

Local on 04/02/2020

Print Headline: Community relief program established


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