Local group recognized for small business initiative

Four Sturgis men were recognized last week by a local civic group for an initiative they started in order to help local businesses.

Dan Root, Tony Percival, Dave Northrop and Von Metzger, who led the Love Local $20$20 initiative a year ago, were given the Exchange Club’s “Book of Golden Deeds” award on Thursday.

Root saw an idea posted on Facebook from a 1991 graduate of Sturgis High School and now a business owner in Eau Claire, Wis. It laid out a way to inject economic life into desperate businesses. Root shared the idea with Northrop, Metzger and Percival, and they quickly organized the initiative.

They secured donations with the goal of raising $10,000 to provide a $20 gift card to match anyone who bought a $20 gift card for a local business. The $10,000 would provide 500 gift cards and put $20,000 back into the Sturgis community.

They raised $31,640, which returned $63,000 to local businesses.

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