Looking for ways to stretch your holiday dollars? The Rome Floyd Chamber will be spearheading a $10,000 gift card giveaway next week.

Locals will be able to log on to the Chamber website, www.romega.com, at 9 a.m. on Dec. 15 and purchase $100 gift cards from a number of Rome retailers and restaurants. For each gift card that is purchased, the chamber will match it with another $100.

Georgia Power is providing the $10,000 for the project, funneling the donation through the Community Foundation for Greater Rome.

A similar program run by the Cartersville Bartow Chamber of Commerce sold out in nine minutes.

“We had learned of the success this program had in Cartersville for their small businesses and immediately called on Cindy Williams, president of the Bartow-Cartersville Chamber of Commerce, with questions,” said Evie McNiece, who chairs the Small Business Action Council. “Cindy and her team have been so kind and helpful, we really want to extend our thanks to them.”

The foundation’s executive director, Ashley Ellington Garner, said she hopes locals looking for an extra tax break before the end of the year might be willing to make donations that can be used in a similar manner.

People will be limited to one purchase match under Operation Gift Card, chamber President Jeanne Krueger said. That means 100 people will have a chance to benefit from the initial funding.

“We want to give as many folks an opportunity to double their money, one time, as possible,” Krueger said. “It’s a great way for us to have an economic impact right in our community.”

Garner said the grant from Georgia Power is tied to the COVID-19 pandemic recovery effort.

“We can advertise this and offer this opportunity for other donors to contribute to Georgia Power’s $10,000 grant,” Garner said. “We might be able to pick up a significant amount more money to go into this type of opportunity.”

Georgia Power Northwest Region Director Cassandra Wheeler said the company was happy to be able to make the contribution to encourage shopping at small local businesses.

“Our focus is, and always has been, to support the communities in which we work and live and thus be a citizen where we serve,” Wheeler said. “The Community Foundation has the ability to spread the dollars far and wide.”

Once the $10,000 pool of money has been exhausted, Krueger said the program would shift to where people making a $25 gift card purchase will receive an additional $5 credit from the local retailer.

The chamber will have a list of participating merchants on its website. There were 35 to 40 merchants as of Tuesday, but Krueger expects that number to go up before Operation Gift Card kicks off.

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