By Graig Graziosi
Twenty downtown Youngstown businesses began offering year-long discounts Saturday following the release of the “Downtown Discount Card.”
Phil Kidd, associate director of Youngstown CityScape, pitched the idea at one of the organization’s fundraising meetings.
“The idea of doing something like this has floated around downtown for a few years with different organizations, but no one really did it,” Kidd said. “I joined CityScape this year and I sat down with the executive director, Sharon Letson, and we started thinking of fundraiser ideas, and I thought that this would be a really good one because no one’s done this yet and everyone seems to have thought it was a good idea.”
The card offers discounts to twenty downtown businesses, including the MVR, the Avalon and Pressed Coffee Bar and Eatery.
Mike McGiffin, coordinator of downtown events and special projects for the city of Youngstown, works as a liaison between the city government and the businesses downtown. In his view, the move toward collaboration of the downtown area is a positive sign of growth.
“The individual establishments are able to see how working together and building a cohesive atmosphere can benefit them as individuals, and it creates an opportunity for everyone to flourish,” McGiffin said. “It makes sense, and it makes us look better as a whole. It’s a simple topic of community that’s really driving this. I think it’s great.”
Proceeds from the card — which costs $10 — will go toward Youngstown CityScape’s beautification efforts.
“Every year — this year it’ll be June 4 — is our Streetscape day where we buy the materials for all the different landscaping areas — over 50 different areas throughout the greater downtown area — plus help the neighborhood groups out,” Kidd said. “So, the funds from [the discount cards] will help to support that because we have to do a ton of fundraising every single year for that event.”
Beyond providing funding to Youngstown CityScape, the cards may also draw more business downtown.
“The buyers [of the cards] that I see purchasing the cards are people who are already spending money downtown and will use it to eliminate some of their daily expenditures down there, and the other type of buyer is someone who wants to spend the money downtown and frequent downtown and uses the card as an incentive to do so,” McGiffin said.
The cards can be purchased at the MVR, OH WOW! The Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology and both Youngstown CityScape and Youngstown Nation’s storefronts and online stores. The discounts offered are valid through next November.
10% off total bill at Avalon Downtown
Free cookie with lunch (Mon-Fri)/$1 off Saturday breakfast at Café Augustine
Free fountain drink or ice tea with meal purchase at Cassese’s MVR
$5 off $20 purchase at Christopher’s Downtown
Buy one/get one free sandwich at McDonalds (5th Ave)
10% off total bill (excludes alcohol) at Fifth Floor Restaurant
10% off total bill at Friends Specialty
10% off total bill at Joe Maxx Coffee
One free service with car wash at Kingly Car Wash
Buy one/get one free admission to Arms Museum or Tyler Center
Two admissions for $14 at OH Wow! Children’s Center for Science & Technology
One traditional cookie with ice cream purchase at One Hot Cookie
10% off your food order per visit at Overture Restaurant at DeYor
Receive a $10 downtown restaurant gift card with new quote at Platt Insurance
Free select baked good with purchase of large drink at Pressed Coffee & Eatery
Free soft drink with entrée purchase at Roberto’s Restaurant
$3 off $15 purchase at Sandy’s Deli & Catering (Downtown YMCA)
10% off total bill at The Soap Gallery
10% off total bill (excludes alcohol) at V2
$5 off purchase of $30 or more at Youngstown Nation