Local Restaurants Partake in the County Gift Card Initiative
By Teagan Brown
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – County Executive Ryan McMahon announced a designation of $500,000 toward a gift card initiative that will be starting this month. The announcement was made at The State of the County address on March 31, 2021 in the National Veterans Resource Center.
This plan states that the county will match the purchase of a gift card up to $100 at participating local restaurants. No major chains are allowed to sign up with this program. Along with this only restaurants are allowed to participate. Bud Loura, owner of RestaurantQB, notes this distinction.
“You have to be a restaurant, you have to serve food, you can’t just be a bar” Loura says.
Restaurants that wish to participate can sign up online by filling out a form and providing a copy of their logo. The website is currently only open to restaurants, but will open up for consumers this month.
Those who wish to purchase a gift card but print a voucher online for 25, 50, 75, or 100 dollars. They then can bring it into the restaurant and receive a gift card double the amount they’re paying on the voucher.
Restaurants have struggled after more than a year in the COVID-19 pandemic and this plan is a hope to bring people back out to eat.
General manager of CopperTop Tavern in Cicero, John Stapleton, believes that there was a fear to go out but this will hopefully change that.
“I think it will get more people who throughout this whole year didn’t feel safe coming out, to give them incentive to visit all of the restaurants that are in the area.”
Ryan McMahon is being praised by multiple restaurants in the downtown circuit for this plan, and owners like Kyle Mastropietro, is participating because he knows it’s the smart choice.
“When someone like Mr. McMahon reaches out, and the county and his office does something to help us, it would be foolish to turn it down.”
Mastropietro, chef owner of Kasai says he thinks this is a good idea and that it will help restaurants, especially after a year of struggle.
The website is open for restaurants to sign up on and hundreds of restaurants are already expected to participate.