The Libby Chamber of Commerce has launched an effort to modernize its “Libby Bucks” program after a large number of the coupons went missing, prompting an investigation by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.
Chamber president Amber Pacheco-Holm said they have been offering “Libby Bucks” for more than 30 years in an effort to encourage local spending. The coupons are printed in $10 increments and are used as a popular holiday bonus for local businesses. The coupons have the same value as cash and local businesses that receive them can exchange them for real money with the chamber.
“It encourages people to spend their money in Libby and it helps keeps money local,” she said.
In 2017, the chamber sold more than $55,000 worth of Libby Bucks. Many of the chamber’s 200 local businesses participate in the program.
But late last year, the chamber realized that a number of the coupons had gone missing. Pacheco-Holm declined to go into details about how the chamber discovered the coupons went missing or how many are unaccounted for, noting that the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is now investigating the incident. Sheriff Roby Bowe said it’s too early in the investigation to say what might have happened.
However, the investigating into the missing Libby Bucks is complicated by the fact that the chamber does not know how many coupons have been printed and none of them have serial numbers. To correct that, the chamber is encouraging people to come in to have a serial number added to all coupons currently in circulation. Local businesses or the chamber will no longer accept those coupons that do not have a serial number after March 1.
“This will helps us put a system in place to better manage the Libby Bucks program,” Pacheco-Holm said.
For more information, call (406) 293-4167.