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Sugar Land will give you and a frontline worker a free gift card if you shop local

The goal is to pump $200,000 into the local economy through the 'Sweet Cash' program.

SUGAR LAND, Texas — Sugar Land has found a way to help local businesses, support frontline workers and pump $200,000 back into the local economy.  All you have to do is buy a gift card worth at least $40.

“With the threat of COVID-19 to our community, small businesses have been significantly impacted in Sugar Land,” said Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman. “These businesses are the character, heart and soul that make our community unique, so we are urging residents and neighbors to buy gift cards now, and in turn support our frontline workers as well.”

Keeper’s Japanese Restaurant hopes to hit it’s 10-year anniversary early next year.  Before the pandemic, a crowd of 500 would pack the Sugar Land restaurant every Friday night.

“For right now, the maximum that we can do is maybe 170 or 175,” said Alpinya Lin who owns the restaurant. 

While Lin is thankful for the federal loan that’s helped to cover her payroll, between a major loss in revenue when the restaurant was forced to close for eight weeks and unexpected expenses, like modifying the restaurant with plexi-glass, Keeper’s Japanese Restaurant really needs customers.

“We have the opportunity to inject over $200,000 into our local economy in Sugar Land to benefit these businesses,” said Devon Rodriguez with Sugar Land Economic Development.

Sugar Land Economic Development launched: All In For SLTX in June.

Buy a gift card worth at least $40 from any Sugar Land business, then jump online and prove the purchase by answering some questions and uploading the receipt.

You’ll then get a free gift card, worth at least $20, to a participating business.

The program is called “Sweet Cash.”

Sugar Land will also give Sweet Cash to a frontline worker.

Local retailer, Baby’s and Kids 1st, is also benefiting from the program. From posts in-store to posting on Instagram, the 32-year old family business is working to spread the word.

“I have nothing but positive things to say about the Sweet Cash program,” says Yvette Muller, owner of Baby’s and Kid’s 1st. “In times like these, supporting small businesses here in Sugar Land is a top priority, especially for those of us who depend on our hometown shoppers. The investment of local dollars in Sugar Land businesses is an important initiative in helping one another. It’s a win-win for both consumers and small businesses!”

In a press release, the Sugar Land Economic Development wrote:

More than 150 shoppers have already participated in Sweet Cash, totaling more than $31,000 spent at Sugar Land businesses through the program thus far. There are enough funds remaining for at least 800 more shoppers to take part, helping to stimulate the Sugar Land economy and giving back to our essential workers.

“Pick your favorite business. Pick a business that you’ve never gone to before,” said Rodriguez. “Buy a gift card. Tell your friends. Go to www.AllinforSLTX.com and participate in the program.”

Buy. Get. Give. 

This may help Keeper’s Japanese Restaurant hit 10-years in business April 2021. “ I hope,” said Lin. “We pray every day.”