SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The next time customers buy a gift card for their favorite local restaurant, Onondaga County is willing to match the value, resulting in a gift card worth double the initial amount.
For example, when someone buys a gift card for $50 at their favorite participating restaurant, a $50 voucher from Onondaga County will result in a $100 gift card to that restaurant.
The county will direct up to $500,000 of stimulus money to reimburse the restaurant, which Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will help stabilize the struggling industry.
In an interview with NewsChannel 9, McMahon said, “It was shocking to us when we saw the breakdown of our sales tax recipients, where they came from, and what they were a year before. You’re talking 30-40% hits for most restaurants.”
At A Mano Kitchen & Bar in Downtown Syracuse, sales in 2020 were 60% of the business the year before.
A Mano owner, Alex Fiacchi, tells NewsChannel 9 he has no reason to say no to participating in Onondaga County’s gift card match program.
The program isn’t open to the public yet. In the next week, Onondaga County will gather commitments from restaurant owners who choose to participate.
Then, within a few weeks, the county will create a website for customers to choose the restaurant and print out a voucher for the value they’d like to spend. The voucher won’t have direct value, but will have information the restaurant owners need in order to process the double-purchase and get reimbursed by the county.
The vouchers will be in increments of $25, up to $100 total per person.