Bowling Green spends 1 million Downtown Dollars - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Bowling Green spends 1 million Downtown Dollars

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BOWLING GREEN, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Bowling Green city officials are encouraging people to shop local this holiday season by offering a unique way to do it.

"Cash circulating around the community is like blood circulating in your body," said Barbara Ruland, executive director for Downtown Bowling Green. "If it flows around and around freely, then you're healthy. Same is true for your community."

People have been using "Downtown Dollars" in Bowling Green for several years. They are like gift certificates that spend like cash, and they just hit a milestone: more than one million Downtown Dollars have been spent locally.

But why should shoppers use Downtown Dollars instead of cash?

"You're really giving the gift of choice when you're giving a Downtown Dollar gift certificate," Ruland said.

They can be used at more than 70 local shops, including one called For Keeps.

"Oh, they're awesome. It seems like they're building every year," said For Keeps owner Amy Craft Ahrens. "We're always amazed at how many come through, and we love to see that more people are going to purchase them to use them as gifts. In fact, I have them out as gifts to my employees actually yesterday."

Ahrens says buying local keeps her doors open and all the other stores that give Bowling Green its charm.

"If these stores don't survive, it means job loss and it means loss for the community in taxes and everything else," she said.

But judging by the Downtown Dollars spending, that's not something she has to worry about anytime soon.

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