Pay It Forward Pella Program Continues Thanks To New Donors

PACE logo from

(from the PACE Alliance)
COVID-19 and the CDC guidance to social distance over the past several weeks has closed the doors of many restaurants and small retailers, forcing them to pivot how they sell their products and greatly impacting their livelihoods.

To support those businesses the Pay It Forward Pella program, which has been running since March 20, 2020, was created to encourage the community to shop locally. For every $100 spent at a qualified business, $10 in Free Pella Bucks can be earned.

“We want to reward those who support local businesses by giving back Free Pella Bucks. Think of it as getting paid to shop local,” said Don DeWaard, Mayor of Pella.

The initial amount in the Pay It Forward Pella program fund was $10,000 from the PACE Alliance and the City of Pella, which was quickly exhausted. With more receipts rolling in everyday and no hard date for reopening, local banks were asked if they’d like to participate. Marion County Bank, US Bank, Bank Iowa, Midwest One, and Leighton State Bank all donated growing the fund another $14,500. The program has seen each week double in local impact.

Week 1: $19.4K
Week 2: $39.9K
Week 3: $82.3K
Week 4: $188K

“It’s heartwarming to see our residents rally and support our small business community in such an impactful way. Pay It Forward Pella is a fun way to say thank you, and we hope everyone will continue to support your favorite businesses long after this program ends,” said Karen Eischen, Executive Director of the PACE Alliance.

Current Stats:

Total participants redeeming receipts: 368
Total value of receipts turned in: $275,441
Number of businesses that customers have shopped: 129
Total Pella Bucks issued to date: $18,360

The Pay It Forward Pella program will continue until funds are exhausted and receipts will be processed in the order they are received. Excludes receipts from: Walmart (effective 4/8/2020), grocery stores, gas/fuel, tips, utility payments, payment on existing accounts, government (post office, city bills, library fines, registrations)


What is the end date for the Pay it Forward Pella program? The program will run until the Pay It Forward Pella fund is depleted.

What businesses qualify for the program? Any small business in Pella. For this promotion, the requirement to be. A PACE Alliance member has been waived.

Are tips included in my receipt total? While employees greatly appreciate tips, this program is designed to support small businesses and therefore, does not include tips.

Why aren’t gas and groceries included? Gas and groceries are necessary expenses. This program is designed to support our small businesses.

See details at: