Gift card matching program raises more than $250K for downtown businesses

Louisville Financial Advisor Mark Lamkin of Lamkin Wealth Management said retirees and job...
Louisville Financial Advisor Mark Lamkin of Lamkin Wealth Management said retirees and job seekers should not panic as the coronavirus outbreak impacts the stock market.(Colin Watts (custom credit) | Unsplash)
Updated: Apr. 14, 2020 at 10:42 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Cincy Card Connection gift card matching program has raised more than $250,000 for Downtown businesses, 3CDC announced Tuesday.

The program, created by 3CDC, P&G and Empower, raised $131,500 in direct gift card purchases for local businesses and $122,000 through eligible matching gift card purchases.

Launched in April, the program was designed to alleviate the strain Downtown businesses are facing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three organizations pooled together $37,500 to serve as a matching fund for gift cards purchased at local businesses, with the goal of doubling the money into $75,000 of direct cash infusion into the local economy.

Less than 24 hours after the program’s initial launch, the funds were depleted, but receipts for eligible purchases continued to stream in to 3CDC. So, the organization immediately began seeking additional funders to help cover the match for gift cards already purchased

According to 3CDC, six organizations stepped in to contribute to the matching fund - Main Street Ventures, Downtown Cincinnati INc., The Haile Foundation, Urban Sites, the OTR Chamber and Duke Energy.

As a result, 3CDC will honor all eligible purchases submitted through Monday, Apr. 6 – bringing a total of $122,000 into local businesses through matching gift card purchases.

“I am proud to be Mayor in a moment we all bear witness to this city’s generosity and resilience,” Mayor John Cranley said. “This program’s success signals that our local support system is strong and that the small business community will thrive on the other side of this crisis.”

Customers who purchased a gift card from a Downtown business and submitted a receipt of the purchase. Eligible purchases will then be matched with the purchase of a gift card from a similar – but different – Downtown business.

3CDC and its partners are working on raising additional funds for a second round of the program that will be announced at a later date.

By the Numbers

Total Amount Raised: $253,000

Total Amount of Gift Cards Purchased: $131,500

Total Amount Eligible for Matching Purchase: $122,000

  • Eligibility Rules:
  • Gift Card had to have been purchased and receipt submitted to between Thursday, Apr. 2 and Monday, Apr. 6
  • Original gift card purchase must have been between $20 and $100
  • Max purchase $100 gift card per establishment
  • Max $500 per person

Total Number of Gift Cards Purchased: 1,928

Total Number of Businesses Benefiting: 157

  • 103 bars/restaurants
  • 43 retailers
  • 11 service

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