A2: Ann Arbor Gold

Ann Arbor Gold, a program of the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce used to encourage shopping at local merchants, has shut down. The company that administers the program, CertifiChecks, is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Dayton, Ohio, according to an announcement on the firm’s website. Lindsay McCarthy, the chamber’s director of marketing & programs, sent an email message to members late Friday afternoon with the news. According to the chamber’s website, more than $2 million worth of Ann Arbor Gold certificates have been sold since the program started in 1994, with more than 140 businesses participating. [Source]


  1. February 27, 2009 at 9:49 pm | permalink

    I collected up some details here:


    noting that other Chambers of Commerce in Ohio and Michigan are similarly affected – Ashland, Ohio and Muskegon, MI have both showed up in news stories so far.

  2. By Mary Morgan
    February 28, 2009 at 10:58 am | permalink

    Just talked to Jesse Bernstein, the Ann Arbor chamber president. He says that hundreds of chambers nationwide are affected by this, and that both the national and Michigan chamber associations are working on the problem. He doesn’t know how many certificates haven’t yet been redeemed, but he said the chamber – though not responsible or liable for the funds – will do whatever they can to help people to get reimbursed for their certificates. “Our hope is that CertifiChecks will make people whole,” he said.

    It’s bad timing for the chamber, Bernstein said, because they’ve been looking at other vendors and are just weeks away from launching a revamped Ann Arbor Gold program that uses something more akin to gift cards. He’s hoping the Ann Arbor Gold brand doesn’t take a hit because of the CertifiChecks “fiasco.”