Times are undoubtedly tough for restaurant owners around the U.S. as the COVID-19 pandemic and various state-imposed regulations have had a massive impact on sales. To help rectify that somewhat, Ford dealer Gibbons Ford in Dickson City, Pennsylvania recently teamed up with other dealers and various other local businesses to purchase $61,500 in gift cards from area restaurants.
Gibbons Ford owner John Grow and his wife had already been purchasing gift cards from restaurants and bars they might normally go to in an effort to help them stay afloat, but that gave them the idea to try and get others involved for a much bigger impact. Grow then started calling other dealers in Lackawanna County and wound up getting quite a few more on board.
“We’re competitors but we’re friends,” Grow told Lancaster Online. “Every single dealer – everybody – did not blink an eye. They said, ‘What do you want? What do you want us to give?’ The people we’re buying these gift certificates from, they’re our customers. They all buy cars…they all come for service, so let’s help everybody out.”
Things have been especially tough for restaurants and bars in the state of Pennsylvania, which have not been allowed to open at full capacity since a statewide shutdown of non-essential businesses began back on March 19th. Things got worse when Governor Tom Wolf restricted indoor dining in restaurants back on December 12th, an order that’s currently scheduled to run through today. Outdoor dining is allowed at this time, but bars that do not sell food have not been allowed to reopen.
Gibbons Ford General Manager Darryl Jayne noted that the Ford dealer survives on takeout food, and admitted that a conversation with his friend – a restaurant owner in the area – hit him hard. “These are friends of yours, they’re neighbors suffering. It really hurts,” he said. Thankfully, they have friends like Jayne and Grow willing to help them out in this time of need.