A new website called LocalGiftCards.com will enable customers to support small businesses when purchasing gift cards.

LocalGiftCards.com 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 websites 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," said Sarah Miller, marketing director at LocalGiftCards.com. "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 LocalGiftCards.com, 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.

The website and participating businesses are still emerging; however, a much more extensive selection of merchants is expected to be participating in the program by the holiday season.

Read more on marketing, branding and promotions.

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