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Restaurants exchange gift cards to give to customers during coronavirus pandemic

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Nearly a dozen restaurants are partnering together to support both each other and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With many businesses limiting their operations, the co-owners of Dos Rios and The Colonial put their heads together to come up with a creative way to keep customers coming back.

"We reached out to a bunch of our friends, traded a bunch of gift cards, and as a thank you, when someone purchases something for takeout, we tuck in a little gift card from the restaurant, a boutique, or another shop downtown," said Jordan Rindgen, co-owner of Dos Rios and The Colonial.

Many businesses, including Tesorina Boutique, have had to close their storefronts, turning to the Internet to process orders.

"It's really scary, it's a very strange time, and there's a lot of uncertainty with this whole pandemic, and we don't know when we're going to be able to open again, and just because someone says we can open at the end of the month, that's not necessarily the case," said Desiree Depersiis, owner of Tesorina Boutique.

Depersiis says she's grateful her store has been able to function entirely online. Now, her boutique is participating in the exchange to give back to her customers.

"I just think it's super important that right now we're not only supporting our community, but the other small businesses in this area. It helps give back to our community right now in this time to hopefully cheer people up a little bit," said Depersiis.

For Rindgen, the gift card exchange is a simple message to customers.

"We just really wanted to give back to everyone for everything that they have been doing to help support us. They truly are what drives us," said Rindgen.

Gift cards can range anywhere between $5 to $25 in value. If you receive a gift card from a business that is temporarily closed, it will still be valid after the pandemic passes.

Katie Jones

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