Downtown Columbia

The downtown community improvement district is helping to support local businesses this holiday.

Downtown Columbia businesses will get a little help in the form of gift cards this holiday season. 

According to a press release, The District, Columbia's downtown community improvement district (CID), has set aside $20,000 to create a Gift Card Relief Program for businesses within its boundaries. These funds will be used to purchase gift cards in participating businesses and then distributed throughout the Columbia community. 

“It’s a drop in the bucket, but it’s something we are able to do right now for our businesses,” Nickie Davis, executive director of the CID, said in the release. “Our businesses need an infusion of cash now, and if this will help them get through the holiday season and help bring customers back in, we’re all for it. We’re happy we are able to do it.” 

Businesses must apply to participate by Dec. 20, and a random drawing of winning businesses will take place on Dec. 21. The District will purchase $500 in gift cards from each business, with the goal of distributing at least $10,000 in gift cards through giveaways, drawings and more by the end of the year. 

Applications open on The District's website on Dec. 14.