The staff at a McDonald’s in uptown Fredericton are as close-knit as the community they serve.
“This is probably the best job I’ve ever had,” said Khileese Steevens, an employee at the store on Prospect Street.
To give back to his front-line staff, McDonald’s franchise owner Bob Chisholm and his wife handed out $33,000 worth of gift cards to the approximately 200 employees who work in their businesses.
The goal is to thank workers for everything they’ve done during the coronavirus pandemic while the donation of “Downtown Dollars” is intended to ease financial burdens on staff and help local businesses.
“I was surprised, not surprised that there was anything, but surprised that it was as much as it was,” said Emily Jeffries, a salary manager at McDonald’s.
The amount each staff member received depended on the number of hours they have worked during the pandemic.
The universal gift certificates can be used at local businesses.
“The really nice thing about these gift cards is they are like money so you get cash back,” explained Chisholm.
“If you buy a $10 item and you give them a $20 card, they give you back $10.”
Businesses will then bring the Downtown Dollars they’ve collected to the Downtown Frederiction Inc., the Fredericton Business Improvement Area.
“We give them the cash back, so businesses are not losing anything at all,” said Bruce McCormack, the organization’s executive director.
The CEO of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce hopes the $33,000 donation will help people get in the habit of shopping locally.
“Every dollar that we spend in a local business multiplies. It pays salaries, it helps businesses to grow, it helps them to do their renovations and it helps them to be able to simply stay open at this time,” said Krista Ross.
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