The city of Colleyville is mailing out $35 gift cards for residents to use at Colleyville businesses. The gift cards can be used at any restaurant or commercial retail business in the city.
“The way business is conducted is changing as communities across the country work to stop the spread of the coronavirus,” a news release from the city said. “The city of Colleyville recognizes the strain this places on our local businesses and wants to support our local restaurants and retailers impacted by COVID-19.”
Residents should start receiving the gift cards March 23. Once in hand, the gift cards can be used immediately, the release said. Businesses will apply the $35 discount and return the cards to the city for reimbursement.
Should a business choose not to participate, the city will reimburse the resident with a valid receipt, the release said. The gift cards will expire after April 30.
“Connecting our community’s two greatest resources, our residents and our businesses, Colleyville endeavors to soften the negative impact of this national crisis,” Mayor Richard Newton said in the release.
This marks a move in the local government that is also being made by its residents. Due to social distancing, these efforts are having to be done virtually through the Colleyville Eats Facebook group.
Colleyville Eats began two years as a way to support local businesses during a major construction project on SH 26. The group’s creator, Lourdes McWithey, was recognized in 2018 by City Council for forming Colleyville Eats and encouraging residents to shop local.
“The organic growth has been tremendous,” McWithey said. “Our Colleyville restaurants really need us. We thought that [SH] 26 was difficult. And now, we've been, you know, thrusted into this disease. So I almost feel like 26 was just learning because now, we're dealing with this.”
By already having an online base to help local businesses, the Colleyville Eats community was able to move quickly to help restaurants through social distancing from the coronavirus. The Facebook group is now a forum for residents to learn about restaurants offering curbside takeout and deliveries as well as coupons.
Members are also finding creative ways to help. Jill Luna, another member of Colleyville Eats, purchased two $25 gift cards to Honey Teriyaki in Colleyville. She instigated a game on the Facebook page and listed Nos. 1 through 50 on the post. Other members could comment their name on the numbers until they were all claimed; then, Luna used a raffle drawing app to pick two winners for the gift cards.
“Everyone loved it,” Luna said in an email. “It was fun and took our minds off the craziness.”
Once the winners were named, the game was continued. One of the winners purchased gift cards to Mother Clucker and Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, both in Colleyville, to conduct raffles of their own.
“I’m so happy others have followed in giving back, and we are now supporting so many local businesses,” Luna said in her email.
David Oun, the owner of Mother Clucker in Colleyville, encouraged the use of gift cards to support local restaurants and businesses.
“It's basically like a rain check, and it's a stormy month or so it seems,” he said.
McWithey said the Colleyville Eats group is successful because it is a safe place for business owners to come and honestly tell the community their struggles and if they need help.
“They're very open with their challenges,” she said. “That's why the group is successful—because we need to know what they're feeling to help.”
Socializing through social distancing
To explore the Colleyville Eats community, click here.
Additionally, McWithey created a second group to support Grapevine businesses about six months ago. To visit Grapevine Eats, click here.