By Ron VandenBoom
The green and pink script Christmas shoppers know as Christmas Cash is not yet available in the Havre area, but according to the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce, the program will once again be activated on Nov. 1.
Debbie Vandeberg, manager of the Havre Chamber, said all six of Havres financial institutions plan on participating in this years program and although a final tally of participating businesses has not yet been completed, more than 50 have so far expressed interest.
The Christmas Cash program provides loan amounts ranging from $500 to $1,000 interest free to Christmas shoppers so they can patronize local businesses.
The patron must still fill out a loan application at his bank and pay the money back in equal installments over a 10-month period. The borrower may have to pay a small processing fee, but no interest will be charged on the loan.
Borrowers are asked to check with their financial institutions for details on processing fees after Nov. 1.
Last year the Christmas Cash program loaned $475,325 to borrowers in the Havre area for a total of more than $3 million that has been spent at Havre businesses since the program started in 1990.
Christmas cash will once again be issued in denominations of $5 and $20 and for larger purchases, lending institutions will provide certificates to substitute for cash so consumers do not have to carry a lot of small bills.