By Sondra Barr
Over 30 years ago, prominent Realtor Scott Gaertner discovered his passion, helping folks to discover the best part of the Valley––Scottsdale North. Since that discovery, he has worked directly for developers selling some of the area’s best lifestyle communities: Desert Mountain, Terravita, and Winfield. But the bulk of Gaertner’s time has been spent working as a broker who helps people find their slice of Scottsdale North happiness by pairing them with the perfect home to live out the lifestyle they envision.
Over many years spent selling homes in this area, Gaertner’s recognized that many of the people moving to the area, as well as longtime residents, aren’t aware of the wonderful small local businesses providing essential and specialty services. “Up here, most businesses are hidden and it’s hard to see the shopping centers just from driving down the road. You can drive Scottsdale Road and you won’t even know you passed by three shopping centers if you don’t know the area,” says Gaertner. “What’s worse is that many of these businesses, they don’t have the marketing budget to get their names out there.”
“It’s been especially hard during the pandemic. Many people have been moving to the area but they’re not getting out as much to explore their new surroundings,” explains Gaertner. Chatting with business owners of the local spots he’s been frequenting for years, Gaertner’s also heard firsthand how many of them are struggling from the lingering effects of the pandemic, including the loss of foot traffic and the migration of customers to online shopping options.
Always an innovator, Gaertner decided to do something about the situation. Along with his listing manager, fellow Realtor Kate Duffy, they found a fun and easy way to keep local spending local––the Connecting Scottsdale North Gift Card.
The Connecting Scottsdale North Gift Card
Powered by Yiftee!, a point-of-sale company that works with thousands of organizations around the country to promote the shop local movement, the Connecting Scottsdale North Gift Card is an eGift card that can be used wherever you might use a gift card, but instead of national brands, it works in participating local shops and restaurants in our community.
Simple to purchase and use, the Connecting Scottsdale North Gift Card can be used at any of the participating shops in the neighborhood. You can write a personal message and send the card to family, friends, and colleagues via email, text, or physical copy. Recipients can spend it at any of the participating merchants in Scottsdale North. The Connecting Scottsdale North Gift Card can live on your phone, or you can print it out, making it the perfect gift or stocking stuffer.
The Connecting Scottsdale North Gift Card can be purchased online for any amount, with a one-time, nominal $2.99 transaction fee. To boost visibility of the program, Gaertner is paying the one-time fee for the first 100 cards purchased.
“Now, you can give back to your community, while you enjoy the holidays,” says Gaertner, who hopes that residents will increasingly use the card to keep local dollars local. “The digital gift card can also be sent as anniversary, graduation, and birthday gifts to family, friends, and clients through a simple text or email. Realtors can also use them as closing gifts, to get them acquainted with all the local businesses.”
“They also make great teacher gifts. Businesses can even send them in bulk as employee rewards,” adds Duffy, who’s been working with local business owners to get them signed up with the program.
“There is no cost to businesses participating in the program,” says Duffy. “The only cost incurred is the standard Mastercard credit card fee they normally pay.”
Once signed up for the program, businesses can add specials for customers using the card like buy one, get one free or discounted pricing on items. “Businesses can also add a button on their website for customers to buy the gift card from there,” adds Duffy.
“It’s a digital gift card, you can easily pull it up on your phone. It’ll send reminders if you haven’t used the gift card. The best part: you don’t have to download an app to use it,” she says.
Among the growing list of Scottsdale North businesses to accept the Connecting Scottsdale North Gift Card:
• The Meat Market, a local butcher that offers Arizona pasture raised beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and eggs.
• Uncle Louie, a New York style Italian restaurant.
• Summit Diner, which serves up healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
• Health Cellutions, an advanced fitness and recovery studio with a focus on pain management.
• Cherry on Top, a family-owned yogurt shop that sells custom blended sweet treats.
• Why Hello! Modern Home, a luxury home accessories and décor store.
• Ginny’s Kitchen, a restaurant serving up comfort food.
• MVP Medical Care, a local network of medical professionals.
Why Shop Local
“Participating in this program means supporting the heart of what makes our community unique,” says Gaertner. “The purchase of the Connecting Scottsdale North Gift Card creates a pool of cash that local businesses in Scottsdale North can rely on. Studies have shown that local independent retailers recirculate 47% of their revenue back into the community, while only 14% of national chains’ revenue stays in the community. More dramatically, restaurants recirculate 73% of their revenue back into the community, versus only 30% for national chains.”
“By supporting local businesses, more money continues circulating through the local community—this is achieved through a combination of profits paid to local business owners, wages paid to local workers, goods and services procured locally for internal use or resale, and charitable giving within the community. If you’re looking for a way to do some good or want to know how you can help the community you love, send a Connecting Scottsdale North Gift Card,” says Duffy.
To purchase a Connecting Scottsdale North Gift Card, visit connectingscottsdalenorth.com and click on “Buy a Gift Card.”
This content is sponsored by Scott Gaertner Group Real Estate.