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Brian Boyd, Editor, Shore Publishing/Zip06.com
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Employees of The Lee Company, headquartered in Westbrook, each received a surprise with their March 26 weekly paycheck: a $50 gift card to a local restaurant.
The Lee Company has 1,100 employees.
The $55,000 in gift cards were purchased from Bill’s Seafood, Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale, Westbrook Pizza, and Cristy’s in Westbrook; Scotch Plains Tavern in Essex; Penny Lane Pub, TJ’s Restaurant, and Pizza Works in Old Saybrook; and Chow Food & Beverage Company and Chips’ Pub III in Clinton.
The company purchased “a very generous amount of gift cards from us this week, and I know they did from a number of other businesses on the shoreline,” said Roger Voitans, a floor manager at Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale in Westbrook.
And there’s a “bigger picture,” Voitans continued. “I think it’s important for the whole community, especially with what’s going on. It speaks volumes for a company like them.
“We’ve had a long relationship with them as far as being in the community,” he said. “A lot of regular customers work for The Lee Company and some our part-time employees also work for The Lee Company.
“It’s important to us,” he added. “We’re trying to stay open to help as many employees as we can that want to work in a safe manner. We’re also [providing] a service to the community while the need is here and we’re able to execute it safely.”
Bill’s Seafood Manager Mark Leopoldino called the purchase “very generous support for the community” and said it helps out “restaurants like us that are struggling during this difficult time.
“It’s very generous on their behalf to their employees, as well,” he added. “Employees can get dinner for themselves and it’s a win-win for everybody.”
The Lee Company CEO William Lee said that the company, which was started by his father in 1948, has always valued its employees as well as the community.
“I’m thankful our company is in a position to be able to do what we can during this difficult time to support our employees and our local restaurants,” he said via email.
The company reached out to additional restaurants but, as time was of the essence in distributing the cards to staff with their paychecks, they were not able to include them all, according to Stephanie Hughes, digital marketing specialist at the company.
“It’s a great company and [has] always been very generous and very supportive to the community,” Leopolino said. “We’re all trying to get through this together and all the support we can give each other at this difficult time is very appreciated.”
For a list of local restaurants that are open for takeout and/or delivery, visit www.zip06.com.
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