New approach will allow eligible participants to receive $100 for future restaurant visits
while providing direct financial support to staff who have been impacted by the pandemic
(Cambridge and Somerville, MA) – The Cambridge and Somerville Chambers of Commerce today announced that each community’s respective annual “Taste of” events will be reimagined this summer as a summertime ‘Dining Passport’ program. The initiative, which takes place between July 1st and August 15th, will direct 100 percent of passport proceeds to local restaurant workers and non-profit organizations.
Participating restaurant goers who donate $30 will receive a Dining Passport. Patrons will then earn $100 in ‘Dining Dollars’ for future visits to participating establishments. Under terms of the program, patrons will bring their Dining Passports to participating restaurants in Cambridge and Somerville, where they will receive a stamp every time they spend at least $25 during a visit. Upon collecting four passport stamps, participants will receive four $25 vouchers for future use at participating restaurants.
“The passport program is a ‘win-win-win’ initiative that directly benefits restaurants, hospitality workers and local diners,” said David Maher, President and CEO of the Cambridge Chamber. “We are grateful for the opportunity to directly support restaurant workers in Cambridge and Somerville.”
“The Dining Passport program is exciting because it will help our local economies get back to work while providing relief for workers in the hard-hit hospitality sector,” said Stephen Mackey, President and CEO of the Somerville Chamber. “We are proud to offer this program to local diners.”
Dining Dollar Vouchers will be valid Between September 1st and December 31st 2021. Anybody can obtain a Dining Passport by visiting the program website, which is located at http://www.cambridgechamber.org/cambridge-somerville-taste-2021.
The Dining Passport program is funded by the “COVID Resilience & Recovery Urban Partnership,” a four-month pilot collaboration between the Cambridge and Somerville chambers. The Dining Passport program will leverage a portion of a $160,000 grant award from the Baker-Polito administration, which was awarded to buoy economic empowerment and revitalization in both cities.
The initial list of participating restaurants features 25 establishments, including Craigie on Main, Hong Kong, and Puritan & Co in Cambridge along with Foundry on Elm, Saloon and The Independent in Somerville. Additional restaurants will be added throughout June. A complete list of participating establishments is available online at the Taste of 2021 webpage.
The program will allow patrons to submit completed Dining Passports via digitally (emailed image of the document with four stamps and a clearly visible Passport ID number) or via U.S. postal mail to the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce’s office in Kendall Square. All completed Dining Passports must be submitted by August 31, 2021 to receive the $100 in Dining Dollar Vouchers.
About Cambridge-Somerville COVID Resilience & Recovery Urban Partnership
The Cambridge-Somerville COVID Resilience & Recovery Urban Partnership was one of 37 projects awarded Regional Pilot Partnerships for Recovery grants by the Massachusetts Office of Business Development. The statewide program supports recovery solutions based on specific economic needs of individual regions and uniquely local concerns.
About Cambridge Chamber of Commerce
Representing a diverse membership of over 750 businesses from a variety of business sectors, the
Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting and connecting businesses to create a thriving economic community in the city. Chamber services include events and programs that educate, engage and empower members while helping all to build and leverage member-to-member relationships that benefit their businesses. Formed in 1939, the Chamber also assists members with business growth and development; professional development; and advocacy at the city, state and national level on issues that affect Cambridge businesses.
About Somerville Chamber of Commerce
The pre-eminent voice of the local business community and leading local network of employers, business owners and managers, the Somerville Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to connecting member businesses, helping our local economy grow, and advancing our urban quality of life for all. Founded in 1946, the Chamber represents more than 250 member companies and organizations.