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Consumers Energy is helping Michigan’s local businesses this holiday season, providing $500,000 to support shopping in 55 local communities through its new “Our Town” gift card effort.

Consumers Energy is providing holiday shoppers with a dollar-for-dollar match for gift cards they buy through local Chambers of Commerce and downtown organizations, doubling the amount they can spend in downtowns across the state.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the communities we serve, and every community has seen those businesses feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer experience.

“With Our Town, we want to end the year by spreading cheer. We are putting dollars directly into shoppers’ hands to help them stretch their budgets and give a boost to shops and restaurants in their hometowns.”

Consumers Energy is providing $3,000 to $40,000 to Chambers of Commerce and downtown organizations across the Lower Peninsula. Shoppers can earn the matching dollars when they buy gift cards directly from local participating organizations. The Our Town support will be available while gift cards last.

Shoppers should contact their local Chamber of Commerce or downtown association to buy gift cards.

“We thank Consumers Energy for taking a meaningful step to help small businesses that have felt the impact of the pandemic,” said Rich Studley, president and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. “Our Town focuses on our Michigan hometowns and puts dollars in the hands of businesses that keep Michiganders at work this holiday season.”

Consumers Energy has been committed to communities and small businesses through the pandemic. The company and its charitable foundation have provided nearly $5 million to nonprofit and economic development organizations this year in help related to COVID-19, including close to $2.5 million for small businesses. Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.