Chamber & Altec Partner to Support Shopping Local


The St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce is happy to announce a partnership with Altec Industries, Inc., to help support local businesses.

The Chamber launched the Champions of Commerce shop local campaign in August to encourage residents to make purchases from local businesses, which helps keep our local stores and restaurants open. The pandemic forced many retailers to close during this spring’s shutdown and restaurants had to pivot to delivery or curbside service only. When restrictions were lifted, customers didn’t return in the quantity hoped. Altec took notice and wanted to help.

“With the current pandemic, like many others, we have not been able to hold our normal Altec family day and appreciation events for associates,” said Lana Beavers, Human Resources Manager at Altec. “We saw the Chamber’s Champions of Commerce program as a way to thank our associates for all their hard work over the past year, while supporting local business owners.”

Altec purchased more than $90,000 in the newly-created Champions of Commerce Gift Certificates and began distributing them to employees last week. Nearly 50 businesses have agreed to accept the $25 gift certificates.

“The Chamber had researched starting a program like this previously, but the pandemic makes change happen more swiftly,” said R. Patt Lilly, President and CEO of the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce. “We appreciate Altec’s significant investment to get this program off the ground.”

The local merchants are fully reimbursed within seven days of submitting the certificate to the Chamber. There is no cost for merchants to participate.

“One hundred percent of the funds invested by Altec go to local businesses,” Lilly said. “We’re happy to be the facilitator to help get this cash flow into local businesses.”

At the moment, gift certificates aren’t available for purchase by individuals, but as merchants get used to the program, that may be expanded.