Giving Downtown an ‘Edge’: New Loyalty Card Will Provide Discounts to Returning Workers
The Edge Loyalty Card will officially launch at an event in Market Square on Nov. 3.
A new initiative by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership aims to “roll out the welcome mat” for returning workers and Downtown residents.
The Edge Loyalty Card will provide access to discounts from more than 40 Downtown businesses, including Sinful Sweets, Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa and love, Pittsburgh.
The Edge website will also showcase available offers, which will be added frequently, and new offer alerts via email sign-up.
The card is being touted as an easy and contactless “show-and-go” alternative to traditional coupons; customers just have to mention the offer, flash the card and the discount will be applied. Discounts will vary and retailers are in control of the offers they provide.
With funding from a Richard King Mellon Foundation relief grant, the program began as a way of welcoming returning workers to Downtown and helping them get reacquainted with neighborhood businesses after months of lockdowns and working from home. It also aims to introduce some new or unfamiliar options that workers and residents might not have heard of yet. The hope is that some goodwill and foot traffic will result for the many restaurants, retailers and others that are participating in the program.
“Given the challenging times of operating a restaurant or retail business during the pandemic, the new Downtown Pittsburgh Edge card provides a meaningful opportunity for returning workers to find and support small businesses while also receiving a welcoming offer in return,” said Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of the PDP, in a press release. “The ‘edge’ these businesses are providing is something we hope workers will really take advantage of. Small businesses bring such vitality to the city, and we really want them to thrive and grow.”
As the coronavirus pandemic approaches the end of its second year, Downtown remains ravaged. The PDP just released its latest Pittsburgh Reactivation Report that tracks Downtown activity through Oct. 14, 2021. Overall Downtown activity — including residents, employees and visitors — is down 45% from 2019 levels.
Downtown office capacity is only at 18%, and only 31% of employees have returned to work Downtown.
But with continued vaccination efforts, including the possibility of expanded availability to children younger than 12 in the very near future, workers are slowly returning to the city’s center, and businesses are excited to have them back.
“The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership has continued to develop creative and compelling ways to help Downtown small businesses through very challenging times,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto in a press release. “The new Downtown Pittsburgh Edge card is the latest example of that and offers a great incentive for returning workers and residents to re-engage with businesses they know and have missed as well as finding some of their new favorites.”
The initiative will officially launch on Nov. 3 at a special event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the recently relocated PG&H boutique at 489 Market Square.
“We couldn’t be more excited to host the Edge card launch at our new location,” said Samantha Fisher, Manager of PG&H, in a press release. “As a small business, this will help us connect in a new way that we control and change over time. We can have one offer through the holidays and then another in the new year, or a different offer each month — I think customers will really appreciate that variety.”
Though it’s currently limited to Downtown businesses and a few Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership pop-up events, the PDP also has plans to eventually expand it more broadly.
Other participating locales include locally owned businesses like Bae Bae’s Café, Cobbler World, Harris Grill, Revel, Boutique La Passarelle, Club Cycle and De Fer Coffee and Tea. De Fer will be offering free 12-ounce beverages to the first 500 customers who visit with the Edge card.