June 19, 2012 08:30 ET

A Local Gift Card Is a Better Gift Card

BOULDER, CO--(Marketwire - Jun 19, 2012) - A new web site called enables customers to support small businesses when purchasing gift cards. "Consumers should be able to shop locally when they are buying gift cards online, and now they can," said Sarah Miller, Marketing Director at "We're connecting small businesses with their biggest fans." is a marketplace where consumers can buy and send gift cards from businesses all over the country. It's the online version of the gift card displays shoppers see in grocery store check-out lanes, but with a twist: all the brands are small businesses.

"There are dozens of web sites selling gift cards for big box stores and national chains, but consumers know that shopping with local, small businesses is better. They want an alternative," continued Miller. " gives them a better option. If your friend across the country loves a certain restaurant in his hometown, we make it easy for you to give him a gift card from that restaurant."

To buy a gift card on, shoppers select a state to see all participating businesses in that area. They can send plastic cards by mail, or send virtual gift cards by email and text message if time is short. Last minute e-gift card sales lead to huge profits for national chains and helps small businesses capture their fair share of those sales.

"E-gift cards have made a big difference for us, especially right before holidays like Father's Day," said Kent Tarkleson, owner of Tark's Indoor Golf Club, a year-round, golf entertainment and training facility located in Saratoga Springs, New York. "The customer demand for e-gift cards was always there, and now we're equipped to meet it. Since we started selling gift cards online, sixty-three percent of our online sales are for e-gift cards -- that's twenty-five percent of our total gift card sales -- those are sales we would have missed without"

The web site is still quite new so you may not find Main Street merchants from your town on yet, but the company is adding new merchants rapidly. A much more extensive selection of merchants is expected by the time the holiday season rolls around. Customers who want to "buy local" can make requests for merchants that they would like to see on the web site through the company's Facebook page at

About was created to help small businesses enter the online gift card market and provide consumers with a convenient way to purchase gift cards online while supporting support local businesses. provides small merchants with the same or better technology than what the big box and national chains stores are using. The web site is owned and operated by Smart Transaction Systems, Inc. in Boulder, Colorado. Since its founding in 1998, Smart Transaction Systems has provided thousands of small businesses with a variety of advanced technologies that would normally require a large IT investment. To learn more about Smart Transaction Systems, visit or call 888-494-9760.

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