Guest Opinion | Robin Salzer: Save Local Businesses with Christmas Gift Cards

first_img CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Make a comment faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Community News Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * If COVID-19 concerns and social distancing have you skipping a daily or weekly trip to your favorite Pasadena coffee shop, restaurant or retail store, please consider purchasing a Christmas gift card now.Our small, locally owned businesses especially restaurants often operate on exceptionally small profit margins, which means a drop in sales of 20 percent or even less could have a severe detrimental effect on that businesses survival. At stake is not only the sustainability of the business, but also the employment of its staff.Though virtually every industry has been touched by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the restaurant industry that has been completely turned on its head.The lack of knowledge about the pandemic, the bewilderment of mixed messages and the utter dismay of restaurants being closed while other retail businesses are open and flourishing is pure unadulterated frustration for restaurant owners.Our restaurants were given a great opportunity to operate with outdoor dining by Mayor Victor Gordo, outgoing Mayor Terry Tornek and our City Council until Gov. Gavin Newsom shut down the state again two weeks ago. Takeout, curbside pickup and delivery are again the only options available at our Pasadena restaurants. As the retired owner of Robin’s Wood Fire BBQ I know firsthand that it will be extremely difficult if not impossible for some restaurants to survive this second closure with solely offering takeout and delivery.Every resident, visitor and foodie in Pasadena can help their favorite restaurant make it through the holidays by purchasing a gift card or a party pack of their favorite restaurant’s dishes or sides.During this shutdown a gift card is a fantastic way for you to help support a local business even if you can’t patronize it during this pandemic. The idea here is that you are giving this business some cash now, cash flow, to help them make it through the holidays and you can use the gift card down the line when the shutdowns are lifted and things get back to as normal as can be. Many restaurants and retailers allow you to purchase a gift card online.If you’re ordering takeout while you’re staying at home now is also a good time to focus on ordering your food from a smaller locally owned restaurant in Pasadena.Chances are pretty good that McDonald’s and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse are going to be able to survive months of slumped sales, but the same might not be true for your local Mexican restaurant, burger joint or steakhouse. If you’re torn between a chain restaurant and a favorite locally owned spot, choose the small guy.As we all continue to adapt to a new reality, the best way that we can keep ourselves safe and support local small businesses is to consciously shop locally (online or over the phone) when possible.Yes, it might not always be the most convenient — you may have to wait a little longer or pay a little more than you would at a big-box retailer. But, as Pasadena and the country struggle to overcome a once in a century pandemic, practicing patience, empathy and support towards our neighbors is paramount to our recovery as a city and a nation. A decision as small as purchasing a gift card from your favorite local restaurant or book store could make all the difference to the owners and staff of these businesses and would be an incredible Christmas gift for all.Robin Salzer is the former owner of Robin’s Wood Fire BBQ. He is also a former city commissioner and the founder of the Pasadena Hot Meal Program. 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Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Top of the News Opinion & Columnists Guest Opinion | Robin Salzer: Save Local Businesses with Christmas Gift Cards By ROBIN SALZER Published on Thursday, December 17, 2020 | 3:36 pm Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website last_img

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