Chamber hits record with gift certificates sales

Shantel Hinton makes a purchase from Mississippi Marketplace owner Linda Studer on Tuesday. Studer and fellow local business owners have noticed an increase in Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce gift cards, which hit a record level of more than $100,000 sold in 2020.

HANNIBAL — Support for local businesses hit a record level in 2020, as sales of Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce gift certificates surpassed $100,000 between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director McKenzie Disselhorst said the successful results were due to community members and businesses wanting to support local businesses and provide a unique gift — some businesses gave their employees gift certificates instead of holding a holiday party this year. Disselhorst said “it’s definitely been a huge increase” since she took on her role with the chamber, and she noted the certificates can be used at about 150 businesses throughout town.

“The main reason that I’m excited is because it benefits our businesses and our community so much,” Disselhorst said. “That money stays not only within our local community but within our local chamber businesses.”

Typically, yearly sales of the gift certificates total between $60,000 and $80,000. Mississippi Marketplace owner Linda Studer noticed the increase before Christmas, asking Disselhorst what was happening.

“I don’t know, we just have a lot of people buying them this year, but I’m super happy to see they are using them,” Disselhorst said.

“They are definitely using them,” Studer said.

Studer was excited about the record and the support shown for local businesses, noting she appreciated the convenience of choosing from a variety of businesses and service providers in the community.

“It gives you such a huge variety of places to pick from, and it all stays right here in our community,” Studer said. It is a great gift, and it’s a great return. It’s supporting small business, it’s supporting big business — it’s just a huge support across the board.”

More information about Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce gift certificates or other programs is available by calling 573-221-1101 or visiting

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