Orland Park boosts businesses
$155K in gift cards issued to help area companies struggling amid pandemic
An Orland Park incentive program aimed at giving a lift to businesses struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic was deemed to be a success, according to the village’smayor.
The Shop Orland Park program offered Visa gift cards to customers of restaurants, retail stores and car dealerships, with card amounts varying depending on howmuchwas spent.
The rebate program ran from July 6 to Aug. 2 and shoppers had until the end of last month to turn in receipts and rebate forms. Approved by the Village Board in June, the incentive program was open to residents and nonresidents.
Village officials said 1,221 gift cards with a total value of a bit more than $155,000were issued.
Officials did not have a total dollar amount of what was spent by shoppers who filed rebate paperwork.
“Fromour eyes itwas a successful program,” Mayor Keith Pekau said Friday. “It wasn’t a negative, that’s for sure.”
He said that in speaking with several car dealerships, they told him that the rebate program “helpedmove a lot of cars.”
With retail sales making up a large portion of the village’s annual revenues, the incentives were seen as away of enticing people to return to Orland Park businesses once COVID-19 restrictions were eased.
Sales tax revenue generally totals about $30 million annually, including money from Orland Park’s home-rule sales tax of 0.75%.
By comparison, revenue from property taxes for the current fiscal year, which ends Dec. 31, is expected to come in at $13.4 million. Village Board members have indicated they want to reduce the tax levy for next year as they beginwork on the fiscal 2021 budget.
Early on in the pandemic, village officials estimated lost revenues, such as sales tax, would exceed $4 million due to restrictions on businesses.
Under the rebate program, anyone spending $300 to $500 at a store, restaurant or hotel between July 6 and Aug. 2 would receive a $10 Visa gift card, and those spending $500 or more would get a $30 card.
For transactions at car dealerships, a $75 gift card would be issued on minimum purchases of $10,000, with a $150 card for a minimum purchase of $20,000 and $225 for aminimumpurchase of $30,000.
Officials agreed to earmark $576,000 for the cards and marketing the program. The money had previously been set aside for a program offering low-interest loans to village businesses.
The Village Board had, separately, approved a menu of incentives meant to help businesses regain their footing, including a sharing of sales tax revenue on a 50-50 split.
Existing retail businesses or restaurants would be eligible for three months’ of tax sharing, while new restaurants that take over vacant locations as other restaurants closed could split tax revenue they generate with the village for up to 10 years.