Real Deal: Fairfield gift card program seeks to bolster local restaurant business during holiday season

Fairfield's gift card program started during the pandemic as a way to help local businesses stay afloat, but the Chamber of Commerce says the program can benefit restaurants and local business year-round, especially during the holiday season.
Caleb Silver with Investopedia says the restaurant industry took a real hit during the pandemic, but Connecticut eateries have really started to recover.
"Restaurant reservations across Connecticut have recovered better than any other state in the tri-state area, up 33% from pre-pandemic levels. So, a lot of dining out in Connecticut," Silver says.  
Beverly A. Balaz, of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, says the program has grown over the past two years.
"When we first launched the gift card program, we had about 50 businesses and this was a great way to support our local business community," Balaz says.
More people are going out to eat now, and the chamber is still running their program with even more businesses on board.
Balaz says there's no need for a plastic card anymore, and gift cards get sent right to phones or emailed digitally.  
"You can have a cup of coffee there, go to dinner here, shop there. And there is so much flexibility to it," Balaz says.    
It's a gift that lasts the whole year through and allows you to eat out at local Fairfield restaurants whenever you want.
Balaz says the gift card makes an easy holiday gift that can be used in many different places in Fairfield all while supporting local businesses.