Bang for your Buck$

Chamber Buck$ makes a return, supports local businesses



The Chamber of Commerce is bring back their Chamber Buck$ including Neill’s Flower and Gifts Shop, shown in photo

JOSIE GOODRICH, Reporter/Copy Editor

It is time to put your online shopping to a halt and shop local with the return of the Chamber Buck$ Program.

Dating back to the 90s, the Pullman Chamber of Commerce had the Chamber Buck$ Program in full swing, but had to put it to bed in 2011 due to a change in economy, Marie Dymkoski, Pullman Chamber of Commerce executive director, said. 

“We sent out an email to all the businesses saying ‘hey, we’re bringing back the Pullman Chamber Buck$.’ We had offered up five to six sponsors to have their logos printed on the back of the buck,” Dymkoski said. “We got some feedback from businesses saying ‘I’m so glad you’re bringing this back. This is great.’”

With the help of sponsorship from Neill’s Flowers and Gifts and Coffee & Ice Cream, the Chamber Buck$ were printed on expensive paper that cannot be copied, Dymkoski said. If they are copied, a watermark appears no matter what, which was not the case with the old Buck$. 

Pullman Buck$ are in $5 or $10 increments, and have the same value as real U.S. money, at participating businesses, Dymkoski said. 

“Nobody makes any money on this, but what it does is encourage you to use those in chamber member businesses who have said ‘yes, I will accept those,’” Dymkoski said. 

So, instead of giving $100 as a gift, someone can give $100 in Pullman Buck$ to ensure the gift receiver can use it for businesses participating, she said. 

Chamber Buck$ is used to promote Pullman businesses, chamber businesses and the idea of shopping locally, Dymkoski said. It is a marketing tool that participants can use to give as gifts as well.

Chris Chandler, owner of Neill’s Coffee Shop & Ice Cream, said that his father, Mitch Chandler, has been involved with the chamber for the last 50 years. 

“He’s always been very involved with the chamber and all of the things that the chamber does and they were looking for a sponsor for the Chamber Buck$,” Chandler said. “They do so much to help promote downtown businesses and businesses in general in the city of Pullman so it was just another way for us to help support them.”

As a sponsor, Neill’s paid for the output of all printing that needs to be done and any other costs associated with the program, Chandler said. If more Buck$ need to be printed then Neill’s will pay for those costs, as well as any other interested sponsors.

“So when it really comes down to it, it’s to help the chamber out, help out other small businesses in Pullman and promote shopping locally,” Chandler said. 

To receive Chamber Buck$, community members can go to the Chamber of Commerce and trade in U.S. dollars for Chamber Buck$, Dymkoski said. 

Participating Pullman Chamber Buck$ businesses can be found online on the Pullman Chamber of Commerce website