PALMER — The Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce recently ushered in a new era with the revitalization of an old currency, bingles.
Bingles were a special form of currency the federal government distributed to the original Mat-Su colonists to use in designated locations in Palmer.
The chamber is paying tribute to the historic bingle by creating special gift vouchers that can only be redeemed at participating Palmer businesses.
“The board and the chamber is always thinking of ways to improve our local economy and keep people coming to Palmer, shopping,” Vann said. “We decided to keep that idea, that local form of currency for the businesses… The idea is to keep that money in the local economy.”
According to Vann, people can purchase Bingles as alternatives to gifts so the recipients can pick out their own items at any of the 28 participating businesses in downtown Palmer. She said stores accepting Bingles will have decals posted at their entrances.
Vann said the chamber normally holds annual raffles through their Shop Palmer program, awarding gift cards winning tickets. She said they’re replacing the blank Visa gift cards with Bingles. Those who enter the raffle by Sunday can win $1,000 worth of Bingles that expire Dec. 31, 2021.
Vann was happy to announce that Bingles are being printed locally by Silvertip Design. She said this new chapter reflects their community’s ongoing history of creativity and ingenuity.
“As a chamber, we love all the talent that we have in our membership, and all the business that are here in town. We’re just so grateful that we have such a wide variety of people with all these different skill sets,” Vann said. “We’re happy that we can print these locally and circulate in our local economy.”
Vann said they’re going to see how this year goes, but they anticipate the idea of Bingles taking off and plan to keep the program going from this point forward. She said it’s a fun way to support local businesses while doing your holiday shopping for friends, coworkers and family members
“It’s kind of like a gift card… I think the biggest selling point is the fact that up here in Alaska, we have a lot of people that aren’t from here. They have family in other places. So, sometimes those family members send gifts. Those gifts might not be exactly what they want, but if they purchase Bingles through the chamber, they can go to 28 different places.”
Bingles can be purchased at the Palmer Chamber office, their website or over the phone. For more information, call 907-745-2880 or visit palmerchamber.org.
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org