UPDATE: Cincinnatians' generosity won the day, and the entire $37,500 gift card fund was exhausted by Friday morning.
Starting Thursday, any customer who purchases a gift card from one of Cincinnati’s downtown and Over-the-Rhine businesses can receive another one for free.
The Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation, Procter & Gamble and Empower have pooled together $37,500 to match customers’ gift card purchases at downtown businesses, which — like bars and restaurants all over the country — face steep financial challenges as the pandemic continues.
Anyone who buys a gift card and provides proof by mailing their receipt to email@example.com will get a gift card in the same amount to spend at a similar business in the downtown and Over-the-Rhine area. For instance, a $100 gift card to Salazar restaurant could also net you $100 of tacos at Nada; someone who bought a gift card at Paragon Salon could get a reciprocal card for Spruce Nail Shop.
The full list of 479 eligible businesses can be viewed in a spreadsheet created by 3CDC.
The participating organizations hope the new program can inject $75,000 into Cincinnati’s small-business economy.
“This is a challenging time for everyone, but 3CDC and our partners have been hard at work on solutions to address the impacts COVID-19 is having on the incredible entrepreneurs and small businesses that make Downtown Cincinnati’s urban core so vibrant,” 3CDC president Steve Leeper said in a news release. “We’re hoping this program will help generate some much-needed cash-flow to the restaurants, bars and retail shops that have been forced to change their operations or temporarily close as a result of the coronavirus.”
More information, including frequently asked questions and a guide to submitting your receipt, is available at cincycardconnection.com.