Newton Kansan

It's possible you have a Newton Buck$ check just waiting for a trip to the store, and for Christmas you were given something backed by the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce that looks a little different a "Chamber Check."

Following a year which included a scandal and theft of Newton Buck$, the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce made changes to the program.

"We changed the name, created new marketing and new oversight," said Pam Stevens, director of the chamber. "They now must be hand signed by two people from the Chamber and everyone has gone through background checks."

The change was made in November, with groundwork laid throughout the months previous.

The chamber paid each Newton Buck$ check used at a participating business, and started working with chamber members to create a new program.

Stevens said there are six new member businesses which can accept the new Chamber Checks. She also said any outstanding Newton Buck$ are still valid and will be honored.

"We still have those coming in," Stevens said. "It will take a few months before they are out of the system."

Newton Buck$ are good for six months after the purchase date listed on the check.

"Honoring those has helped us create the new program," Stevens said. "We paid all the checks , no check that was given to a program member did not get paid we made good on it all. We want them to all get used, and to support local business."