Rebate programs ends quickly, pleases local businessesA pair of Red Wing companies said Minnesota's overnight stimulus program for appliances was a boon to them.
By: Jon Swedien, The Republican Eagle
A pair of Red Wing companies said Minnesota's overnight stimulus program for appliances was a boon to them.
"It doubled our sales for the month. It definitely stimulated our business," Red Wing Appliance Center owner Mark Lynch said of the program that offered rebates to consumers who traded in old appliances for new, more energy-efficient models.
Minnesota's version of the federal program ended March 2, just a day after it started. The state gave out 25,400 reservations for rebates, worth $5 million in stimulus funds.
"It was so successful it was over quickly," Red Wing's Sears and Roebuck and Co. manager Sue Northey said.
Those who didn't qualify in time for rebates were added to waiting lists.
Anyone who doesn't use his or her reservation in 30 days will lose it and someone on the waiting list will receive it. The waiting lists are full.
Some consumers were reportedly frustrated with complicated paper work and because the state's Web site crashed March 1, making it difficult to register for reservations.
While Minnesota's program is over, Wisconsin's is still going and Wisconsinites can buy their new appliances in Minnesota.
Minnesota's program was strikingly more popular than Wisconsin's, which has been running since Jan. 1 and has yet to exhaust its $5.4 million in stimulus funds.
Lynch said part of the reason for that is Minnesota has larger rebates than Wisconsin has. Northey said she thought Minnesota did a better job of marketing the program.