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BTI supports local communities with gift cards

Hannah Brown

A Kansas agriculture business Bucklin Tractor and Implement, more commonly referred to as BTI, recently launched a program to help small businesses cope with the financial struggles that have come with the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, called BTI Supports Local, matches gift cards cards in the six communities where BTI has locations, Bucklin, Pratt, Greensburg, Great Bend, Hoxie, and Ness City.

“This program was designed to hopefully alleviate just a little of that stress on these small business owners,” said Karly Frederick, Marketing Manager at BTI. “As BTI supports agriculture, we are deemed an essential business and wanted to help other businesses who weren’t that fortunate.”

The program started at the end of April, and BTI set specific budgets for each town. The program continued until the limit was reached. Eck Services created a similar program, and the people at BTI loved the mission behind the program and decided to start their own. BTI CEO Kelly Estes was the driving force behind this idea. After he saw the hep that Eck Services was doing, he knew BTI had to step in and help in some way.

“It has been a scary time for everyone concerned for their health, but it has been even scarier for our small businesses having to close their doors,” said Frederick.

After a consumer purchased a gift card, they had to fill out a virtual form, then BTI would mail the patron a gift card. In Greensburg, there were 16 different businesses that were represented in the program. The Twilight Threatre, Cannonball Bar and Grill, and Kook’s Meat were the top three businesses where gift cards were purchased. There was over $8,500 purchased in gift cards, which amounts to $17,000 after the BTI Supports Local program matched the gift cards.

In total, there were over $40,000 in gift cards purchased in the six towns, which generated over $80,000 in just three days for local businesses. Hardware stores, salons, boutiques, and restaurants were the most common places people shopped.

Ralph Estes Co-Founded Bucklin Tractor and Implement Company in 1944. In 1960 his son Maynard took over. Maynard’s children Bud, Mike, Letty, and Kelly, and grandson Jeremie and nephew Ron Yancey, have all become key components to continuing the family business. Karly Frederick has worked for BTI since June of 2017.