Royal Oak offering $400,000 in gift cards to draw customers back downtown

Each person who signs up gets $20 e-gift card to downtown location

Royal Oak officials are preparing to roll out monetary incentives to encourage individuals to patronize local businesses amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The city of Royal Oak is offering residents hundreds of thousands of dollars in gift cards to downtown businesses in an effort to give the economy a boost.

Royal Oak, like many cities, is taking a major economic hit due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), and downtown manager Sean Kammer said there’s a plan to get customers back into stores and restaurants by giving them money.

The normally packed bars, restaurants and stores downtown are struggling to survive.

Royal Oak is working to get people back downtown by offering more than $400,000 in gift cards to those who sign up for the city’s website on

Each person who signs up for the newsletter will receive a $20 e-gift card to use at one of more than 50 locations in Downtown Royal Oak, Kammer said.

Some businesses, such as HopCat and Town Tavern, have already closed. Other, such as Fifth Avenue, are investigating in outdoor spaces, hoping to get customers back.

You can hear from Kammer in Hank Winchester’s full video above.

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4’s Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV’s “Help Me Hank” Consumer Unit. Hank works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off people in our community.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.