SKANEATELES, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Since May, more gift cards were purchased from Rosalie’s Cucina in Skaneateles than any other restaurant participating in Onondaga County’s gift card match program.
Combining the $17,775 customers spent with the $17,775 matched by Onondaga County, $35,550 was injected into Rosalie’s business through the program.
When NewsChannel 9 informed owner Marc Albino of the result, he said he’s “certainly appreciative” and it’s “very unexpected.”
Rosalie’s topped Pastabilities, Daniella’s Steakhouse, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and Santengelo’s for the most popular restaurant in terms of voucher redemption.
“In the end, I thought it was a really good deal for the end user. That’s one of the reasons we decided to partake in it,” Albino says in an interview with NewsChannel 9. “We thought: what an opportunity for people that wouldn’t normally be able to come here perhaps.”
The money spent at Rosalie’s is just some of the $400,000 the county is reimbursing other restaurants in the “Keeping It Local” program first reported by NewsChannel 9, designed to use stimulus-style funds to double a customer’s gift card value.
Combined with the customers’ $400,000 initial purchases, $800,000 has been injected into the local economy to help businesses recover from a challenging year.
The Onondaga County Executive budgeted $500,000 for the program.
Within hours of going live in May, $500,000 in vouchers were claimed, but by the redemption deadline, only $400,000 or so was actually accounted for by people who physically took the voucher to their selected restaurant with their own money.
Participants can chose from a list of almost 200 participating restaurants, print or have a voucher emailed and redeem it at the specific restaurant. Whatever amount is selected for the voucher is the same the person is willing to spend on their own, resulting a gift card for double their money.
On Monday, Onondaga County will open up more than $100,000 of the leftover vouchers to match what customers will spend on gift cards are local restaurants.
The restaurant than bills the county for the voucher amount.
Rosalie’s and most participating restaurants from the initial round are taking part in the carry-over round. Some restaurants, like Bull and Bear Roadhouse, are new additions.