JACKSON, Wyo. — A new website launched today hopes to drive $1 million into local businesses in May through business bonds.

The site, 22Local, is a web platform designed by Brian Modena at TMBR Digital Marketing Agency (note: Modena is the former owner of Buckrail) and licensed by the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce that allows customers to buy “gift certificate bonds” from local businesses. So far 44 businesses across various sectors are participating.

The idea is simple: buy a gift certificate bond now to give your favorite local businesses immediate cashflow. Bonds are discounted but not immediately redeemable. So a customer could, for example, pay $80 for a $100 gift certificate bond that can be redeemed in three months.

“There are both vendor and customer benefits to a Gift Certificate Bond program like 22 Local,” said Anna Olson, CEO/president JH Chamber of Commerce. “For vendors, it immediately provides cashflow in a time of need, and for the customer, it provides an easy one-stop shopping experience at a safe distance to support beloved businesses and receive increased value in return. We know this community supports our small business, now everybody can show their love with Million Dollar May? it works for everyone.”

Buy bonds now, redeem later. Buy the time you redeem, the gift certificates will be worth more than you paid. Screenshot: 22Local

Andi Gollwitzer, communications manager for the Chamber, compared the platform to Etsy but for bonds. Businesses are the only beneficiary of the bond funds. The site is just a platform for them to elevate their services.

“The idea is really just to support local businesses by giving them capital now,” Gollwitzer said.

As many businesses remain closed or under limited operations, cash flow is a primary concern right now. Businesses are not offering their full scope of services. But they hope to again one day, and this platform, Olson hopes, will help them do that.

“We’re trying to jumpstart cashflow for businesses by putting everything in one place,” Olson said.

The Chamber’s goal is to see the platform collect $1 million dollars for local businesses, collectively, this month. “Million Dollar May” is a lofty goal, Olson admits, but a necessary one.

“It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of courage,” Olson said. “That’s how we’re going to get through it.”

Buckrail @ Shannon

Shannon is a Wyoming-raised writer and reporter. She just completed a master's in journalism from Boston University. Jackson shaped her into an outdoorswoman, but a love for language and the human condition compels her to write. She believes there's no story too small to tell nor adventure too small to take.