December 11, 2020
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Second Phase of Empire State Digital with Ritual and PayPal to Support New York Restaurants and Food Service Industry

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Second Phase of Empire...

Help to Expand Online Orders and Deliveries as Revenue Sources

New E-Commerce Opportunities Available for Restaurants and Food Service Establishments Affected by COVID-19 

Ritual and PayPal Commit $1 Million Towards Discounted Purchases for Customers of Participating New York Businesses on Ritual ONE

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the second phase of New York's Empire State Digital initiative to support the state's restaurants and food service industry affected by COVID-19 has launched. Beginning today and extending through April 2021, e-commerce company Ritual will offer its commission-free digital ordering platform Ritual ONE to New York's restaurants and food service businesses at no cost, for pickup and delivery. Additionally, PayPal has committed $1 million towards discounted purchases for customers of participating businesses on Ritual ONE in February 2021, at no expense to the businesses. This follows the Governor's extension of the moratorium on commercial evictions to support restaurants and small businesses.

"New York State is a global food capital and its world-class chefs, servers and staff have been among the COVID-19 pandemic's hardest-hit workforce during this global pandemic. It's critical that while restrictions are in place on how bars and restaurants can operate in order to protect the public health, we also open new opportunities to counteract the economic strain they face," Governor Cuomo said. "This latest piece of New York's Empire State Digital initiative will give these establishments an opportunity to expand their online businesses free of charge, with an added incentive that will encourage customers to continue supporting their favorite restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops. Restaurants support New Yorkers, and New York will continue to do what we can do to help support them, but now more than ever, it's critical for the federal government to do its part too and provide real relief for this critical industry."

Restaurants and food service businesses that join Ritual through the Empire State Digital initiative will be able to accept touch-free payments from customers using their PayPal and Venmo apps, and will not be subject to Ritual processing fees for a limited time. As part of this initiative, Ritual will waive its set-up, monthly subscription and credit-card processing fees. Terms and conditions apply. Businesses may opt out at any time without penalty. Platforms can be customized to match businesses' branding preferences and can be integrated for use with Instagram, Facebook and Google Ordering. More information is available here.  

  

To help support food service establishments further, PayPal and Ritual have committed to invest $1 million to encourage customers to support their favorite local restaurants and eateries. Beginning in February, businesses enrolled in Ritual One can offer customers a discount on eligible purchases at up to three different store locations during the promotional period, to be reimbursed by PayPal and Ritual up to $1 million total.  

  

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner, and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "To help New York's businesses who are fighting to combat the adverse effects caused by COVID-19 pandemic, the State continues to look for new and creative ways to support these businesses while ensuring public health and safety. The second phase of Empire State Digital specifically targets our food service industry by providing to a free service to ensure a safe, contactless transaction as a means to help alleviate costs for these businesses."  

 

Ritual Co-Founder and CEO Ray Reddy said, "As New York businesses adapt to changing customer needs, it's critical that they have a commission-free digital platform to keep everyone safe while profitably growing their businesses. Ritual's products enable all our favorite local restaurants, bakeries, and coffee shops with industry-leading technology to offer contactless ordering for pickup and delivery. We believe local businesses make our communities thrive and we are proud to partner with Governor Cuomo and PayPal to support New York."  

    

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said, "New York has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic and has shown incredible resolve and resiliency in the face of this unprecedented challenge. Small businesses have been deeply impacted throughout this crisis - and it is essential for the business community to work with the public sector to do what is necessary to help those who need it most. PayPal is proud to join with New York State and Ritual on this endeavor to support local small businesses."  

    

Governor Cuomo launched Empire State Digital in October as a first-in-the-nation program with leading global e-commerce enablers offering the state's small businesses specialized solutions to grow their online presence. Small businesses make up 98 percent of all businesses across New York State, and building a digital presence allows entrepreneurs and small business owners to reach existing customers and new markets. It also provides continuity of business at a time when social distancing is an essential public health priority.

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