MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota business owner is getting in the giving spirit of the holidays to support bars and restaurants struggling through the pandemic. And with a simple pair of scissors, his employees are taking it one step further.

Michael Jellish, the co-owner of the boat rental company Your Boat Club, recently spent $20,000 on gift cards from several bars and restaurants all over Minnesota and in Wisconsin.

“We thought we’d do something nice,” Jellish said.

He says his business did very well this summer, so the gift cards went to his employees.

Then something happened Jellish didn’t expect.

“One of our team members decided to just cut the card right in half,” he said.

More of them did the same, and #CutTheCard was born.

Each snip meant all the money went to the business in need.

“It’s huge. Everything counts right now,” said Andy Nagle, the manager at Whitey’s Old Town Saloon in Minneapolis.

He sold Jellish $500 in gift cards.

Nagle says without knowing what kind of help may be coming from the government, a gesture like Jellish’s means a lot.

“It’s just so cool how generous everyone is and how sympathetic they are to our situation,” Nagle said.

Jellish says it’s the Minnesota way to look out for each other.

“We have to,” he said. “It’s a long, cold winter.”

Jellish says the #CutTheCard hashtag is spreading; he saw a social media post of someone doing it in Texas.

If you’re looking for gift cards, you can find a list of more than 100 restaurants offering special deals here.


David Schuman