A Lawrence firm that markets the value of locally owned and operated businesses has been bought by the parent company of the Lawrence Journal-World.
The World Company finalized a deal this month to purchase the Lawrence Give Back Program, which offers loyalty cards to shoppers who can use the cards to get discounts at a host of Lawrence merchants while having some of the proceeds from their purchases donated to local nonprofits.
“We plan to bring this exceptional program to a larger audience,” said Edwin Rothrock, director of market strategies for The World Company.
The Give Back Program was founded by Lawrence businesswoman Constance Wolfe in early 2009. She will serve as the program’s manager for The World Company.
Wolfe said the major details of the program will be unchanged. The Give Back cards will remain available free of charge at participating businesses and at the Journal-World’s offices. When consumers present the card at the time of a purchase, 1 percent to 5 percent of the purchase price is donated to a nonprofit of their choice. Cardholders also will receive points that can be turned into store credit once they’ve hit a certain level of purchases.
Participating businesses will be limited to locally owned and operated companies.
“What we’re trying to strive for here is economic sustainability,” Wolfe said. “If consumers in Lawrence could just shift 10 percent of their annual spending back to Lawrence, that would be a tremendous boost to the economy.”
Currently the program has about 50 merchants and about 100 nonprofits that participate. Since its inception, the program has distributed about $100,000 to local nonprofits and about $85,000 worth of store credit to cardholders.