Gift certificate program partner goes bankrupt

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Dayton, Ohio-based company used by Brookhaven and numerousother cities to sell gift certificates for shopping at local storeshas gone bankrupt, leaving many clients with questions about futureprogram plans.

Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce ExecutiveVice-President Cliff Brumfield said CertifiChecks announced Mondaythat it is filing bankruptcy due to tough economic times.

“This is very unfortunate, and totally unexpected as the companyhad been so well-recommended by others,” Brumfield said. “We hadcarefully scrutinized them before signing on with them. Many othercommunities in Mississippi use them and they had an outstandingreputation.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Brumfield said the company, which was used by roughly 35businesses in Brookhaven alone, has posted information on its Website asking merchants to remove all door and register decals, aswell as asking them not to deposit CertifiChecks since they will bereturned.

“We hope that those bought close to the holiday season have beenturned in, and we ask that anyone who hasn’t to contact thecompany,” he said, adding that anyone with questions can call thechamber. “We hope nobody loses any money in the process. Thechamber is out a $500 processing fee, but hopefully that will bethe only money lost in the community.”

Brumfield said the chamber is working on finding anotherprovider as well as getting the money back for individuals andbusinesses who might have lost money on the company.

“We appreciate them giving us instructions as to how to redeemthese, not only if you’re holding those checks, but if you’re amerchant,” he said. “And we will work to locate a differentprovider, but considering the economy and what has happened withCertifiChecks we’ll definitely proceed with caution.”

The company’s bankruptcy is a result of a withering nationaleconomy, Brumfield said. But locally, things have held up fairlywell.

“From a local standpoint, we’re weathering storm of economyquite well,” he said. “Many other towns are not. But we’vecontributed this downturn for CertifiChecks to be lack of sales inlarger cities in other parts of the country.”

Brumfield said in the meantime, anyone holding unredeemedCertifiChecks can contact the company’s redemption department atits Dayton address:

CertifiChecks, Inc.

Attn: Redemption Dept.

P.O. Box 13603

Dayton, Ohio 45413

“We greatly regret any confusion this has caused,” Brumfieldsaid. “This was taken on by the chamber to promote local shoppingand enhance members’ retail sales opportunities, but we’re very sadto have gotten this news.”