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3CDC, Several Partners Launch Second Round Of Cincy Card Connection
Round 2 Places Focus on Retail, Service, and Minority- and Woman-Owned Businesses.

CINCINNATI (April 24, 2020) – The Cincy Card Connection gift card matching program created by Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC), P&G and Empower is relaunching today with a new $175,000 matching fund, thanks to additional funding provided by a number of corporate and philanthropic organizations.

Two organizations that contributed to the first round of the program – Main Street Ventures and The Haile Foundation have made additional contributions to the second matching fund. They have been joined by P&G’s Hispanic Affinity Group, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, The Dianne and J. David Rosenberg Fund, P&G’s Asian Pacific American Affinity Group and P&G’s Supplier Diversity Group, The Kroger Company, St Xavier Park Residents, Jostin Construction, TriVersity Construction, Battle Axe Construction, and The Painting Contractor.

“In working with our fantastic community partners to help fully fund the first round of the gift card matching program, we all very quickly moved toward thinking ‘How can we keep this going?’” Tony Alexander, Executive Director of Main Street Ventures, said. “While the first batch of matching funds provided a boost to many Downtown businesses, we felt like we could expand the impact in the second round by placing more of a focus on retail and service-based businesses, in addition to minority- and women-owned businesses.”

The first round of the gift card matching program raised more than $250,000 for local businesses. However, 90% of the gift card purchases went to full-service bars and restaurants. Since the program’s goal is to help all businesses in the Central Business District, OTR and Pendleton, Round 2 will be slightly different than the first round:

  • Gift cards purchased from retailers and personal service businesses will be matched at 100%.
  • Gift cards purchased from full-service bars and restaurants will be matched at 50%.
  • The matching funds will go toward supporting minority- and woman-owned businesses.
  • The $100 per establishment maximum has been lifted, so people who would like to support certain salons or boutiques feel like they can purchase a gift card for enough value to make it worthwhile. However, there will be a total maximum match of $250 in place.

“We were very pleased with the response to the first round of the Cincy Card Connection program, but we felt like retailers and service businesses needed an additional boost if we were going to do a second round,” Steve Leeper, President and CEO of 3CDC said. “Supporting minority- and woman-owned businesses seemed like a perfect use of the matching funds, and is something that a number of our partners were very excited about.”

The second round of the program will run from Friday, Apr. 24 – Tuesday, Apr. 28, or until funds are depleted. Here’s how Round 2 will work:

  • Customer purchases a gift card ($20 min./$250 max) from a downtown Cincinnati business on a predetermined list.
  • Customer submits a receipt and related info through an online submission form.
  • 3CDC purchases a matching gift card (or cards) to a minority- or woman-owned business, and delivers it to the customer. Gift cards purchased from retailers and personal service businesses will be matched at 100%. Gift cards purchased from full-service bars and restaurants will be matched at 50%.

“We are proud to support this vital investment in the future of our local businesses,” said Ellen M. Katz, Greater Cincinnati Foundation President and CEO. “The focus on minority- and woman-owned businesses aligns with our mission of driving racial and gender equity to build a more vibrant community for all of us.”

As with the first round, the program’s structure allows one customer purchase to support two businesses, and encourages the customer to potentially try a new business in downtown. Additionally, there is still a donation option available for individuals interested in contributing to the matching fund rather than buying a gift card.

Full program details are available at www.cincycardconnection.com

About Empower

We are Empower, The Un-Holding Company. Our advantage is simple. Clients first – not shareholders.

From the day we opened our doors in 1985, Empower has challenged the media status quo. Decades later, this hustle manifested into what we call Creative Media.

Recognized by The One Show, as Campaign US’s Agency of the Year, as an Ad Age Agency A-List Standout and as MediaPost’s Media Agency of the Year, our integrated team of experts in Creative, Media, Analytics, and Word-of-Mouth Marketing outperforms expectations.

Some of our biggest fans include Tempur Sealy, Fifth Third Bank, Gorilla Glue, TriHealth, Brooks Running, Jack Link’s, V-Tech, Bush Brothers, Wendy’s, GNC, Famous Footwear, Ashley HomeStore, Rust-Oleum, The Body Shop and PetSmart. 

Empower is headquartered in the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of downtown Cincinnati. Our Chicago office is located in the city’s bustling River North neighborhood, just steps from the Merchandise Mart. 

While much has evolved in our 35-year history, we remain independent with plenty of Midwest hustle…

Find us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and online.