reopen chicago

Chicago Hides Hundreds of $250 Gift Cards Around City to Celebrate Reopening

This initiative, announced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Friday, is used as a way to encourage people to get back out to local businesses this summer.

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Starting Friday, hundreds of $250 gift cards will be hidden around all 77 of Chicago’s neighborhoods, the city announced.

Each weekend through July 4, Chicagoans and tourists can find the gift cards scattered around the city.

It the newest initiative from Mayor Lori Lightfoot aimed at encouraging people to get back out to local businesses this summer. 

“These are going to be at businesses and locations in all of our 77 neighborhoods. If you're the one who walks in and says, ‘Open Chicago,’ you will get this $250 gift card that we'll be hiding today through July 4,” Lightfoot said Friday as she announced the city would reopen.

Lightfoot partnered with Raise Marketplace and World Business Chicago to give away the gift cards, which can be used on Raise Marketplace and more than 4,000 shops and restaurants throughout Chicago.

Chicago moved to Phase 5 Friday, its final stage of reopening, becoming the largest big city in the U.S. to fully reopen, Lightfoot said.

"Due to the incredible progress we've made in our mission to stop the spread of COVID-19, I am thrilled to announce that we are able to safely transition into Phase 5 and become the first major city in the country to fully reopen," Lightfoot said in a statement. "Our ongoing vaccination efforts, which prioritize equity and inclusion, have made a remarkable difference in our COVID-19 journey and have resulted in the lowest positivity rate since the beginning of the pandemic. This progress, as well as ongoing initiatives such as Open Chicago, have allowed us to safely lift capacity limits and reconnect our residents back to the activities they love the most."

The city also announced vaccination incentives as part of its reopening, including a chance for vaccinated residents to receive one of more than 1,000 single-day Lollapalooza passes being given out this month.

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