A new gift certificate that offered an extra $100 of each $100 certificate purchased called Blacksburg Bucks was designed to kick off the holiday season and offer a much-needed boost to local businesses. But  they were sold out as soon as people started calling to order them on Friday. Apparently some did not read the fine print about the program, funded by the CARES Act.

The Town of Blacksburg apologized and issued this statement yesterday on its Facebook page: The first round of Blacksburg Bucks gift certificates ($200,000) sold out early Friday. Many people were disappointed to learn that the supply had run out so quickly. There was also some frustration about early orders on Thursday that contributed to the supply running out.

So, what happened? The simplest answer is that word of mouth, that call ahead orders were being accepted a little early, spread fast yesterday. Because all transactions have to be done through a drive-through, call ahead orders make it possible to have the gift certificates ready for pick up in advance. However, the option to do a call ahead order was not clearly communicated, and for that, we apologize. We also underestimated the demand. Over 100 businesses have signed up to participate and they had clearly passed the word about Blacksburg Bucks to their customers.
A second round of Blacksburg Bucks (another $200,000) will be available to purchase in early December. For the second round, the process will be changed slightly. Gift certificates will go on sale through phone orders at the six National bank branches beginning Tuesday, December 1 at 9:00 a.m.

(from Town earlier on Facebook) The collaboration between the Town of Blacksburg, the Blacksburg Partnership, and Downtown Blacksburg Inc., Blacksburg Bucks is a double value gift certificate program designed to encourage and provide incentive to support Blacksburg businesses during these challenging times.  Using CARES Act funding, the Town of Blacksburg will double the value of all Blacksburg Bucks purchased. If a customer purchases $100 in Blacksburg Bucks, they will receive an additional $100 in certificates, for a total of $200 to spend locally.  Blacksburg Bucks are sold in $20 denominations.