A group of first responders (background) with, (from left) Monika Schermer, owner of Bohemian Pink boutique, Margaret Tucker, manager of Chestnut Grill and Chair of the Chestnut Hill Business …
by Pete Mazzaccaro
Paul Walsh, President of Elfant Wissahickon Realtors in Chestnut Hill, said he and the other partners at the real estate firm were talking about what they could do to help frontline workers and emergency staff at Chestnut Hill Hospital. They came up with an idea that they hope will help both those workers and Chestnut Hill businesses.
Last week, he purchased $3,000 of Chestnut Hill Business Association gift certificates using the firm’s support account. The gift certificates, which can be used at all CHBA-member businesses will go to Chestnut Hill Hospital workers and fire and emergency personnel at Chestnut Hill’s Company 37 firehouse. When they use those cards, the CHBA reimburses 100% of the value to the merchant. It’s a win-win for gift card recipient and the place where they buy goods or services.
“As we talked about it, rather than pick a restaurant and cater, which is a wonderful thing people are doing, we wanted to make it as broad as we could and figured buying gift certificates was the way to go,” Walsh said. “People need hardware. People need flowers. People need a dinner. And we just wanted to spread it to as many of the businesses along the Avenue as we could.”
That help will definitely be appreciated by businesses on the Avenue.
“Things are very difficult right now,” said Chestnut Hill Business District Executive Director Philip Dawson. “A lot of our retailers are getting as creative as they can. They’re making their goods available online, doing streaming fitness videos, and restaurants are still turning out food with takeout and curbside pickup, but in all cases it doesn't end up equaling the business they’ve lost. Even with tremendous support from the community, it can be tough to keep things going. So this sort of support for our frontline workers, that also uses the Chestnut Hill gift certificate that keep dollars in the business district, is really invaluable.”
Chestnut Hill Hospital said its staff appreciated the gesture.
From my perspective, and all of our staff's perspective, we're incredibly grateful,” said Dr. John Cacciamani, CEO of Chestnut Hill Hospital. “You know as part of the community, we want to help support all the businesses here and we're very grateful to Elfant Wissahickon for thinking about us. Our staff has been through quite a bit and they're looking forward to, hopefully as the pandemic wanes, we hope, to get back out and support the community.”