Michigan Sugar Company handed out more than 2,600 restaurant gift cards to its employees all in a way to say thank you and provide a much-needed boost to local businesses in the area.

The company, headquartered in Bay City, handed out $100 gift card to their 1300 employees. The cards are good for 50 different restaurants in the area including cards for  Ohio restaurants where the company also has facilities.

Workers for the company are considered essential and in a Facebook post they mentioned they wanted to thank their employees for staying so focused during this stressful COVID-19 time.

In looking for a way to say an extra "thank you" to our employees, we took into consideration the fact that many businesses in our communities are hurting right now. Among those businesses are restaurants, many of which have closed their doors, laid off employees and are now trying to figure out what’s next.

Michigan Sugar Company Board Chairman Adam Herford said, “We hope this helps ease the pain of this pandemic for those businesses just a little bit."

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Recently, Michigan Sugar Company donated more than 1,000 masks, close to  800 pairs of safety glasses,  and 550 pairs of gloves to six hospitals in and around the mid-Michigan area. “We know these professionals are on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19,” said Herford, a grower-owner from Elkton. “They are true heroes in our communities and we encourage every business and individual that can help in some way to do so.”