ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Small businesses, like restaurants, are a vital part of a community’s economic success and they’ve taken a hit over the last year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In fact, Orange County officials say local restaurants and their employees make up 84% of the vital hospitality industry in Central Florida.
In an effort to support those restaurants and their employees, Orange County leaders and Visit Orlando officials are encouraging residents to purchase food from their favorite local eateries on Wednesday, April 7. It’s all part of the second annual social media campaign known as #407Day.
Orange County and Visit Orlando first launched the campaign, inspired by the region’s area code, last year, when businesses were relying mostly on takeout and delivery orders to keep their doors open as the virus was first making its way through Central Florida.
One year, thousands of COVID-19 cases and multiple vaccines later, residents are encouraged to once again show their support by purchasing food from a local restaurant on April 7, only this year they have the option to once again dine inside a restaurant, if they wish.
“Although it has been challenging, we are resilient and we continue to always have a neighbors helping neighbors philosophy. I encourage our residents to enjoy the time out or order takeout or delivery,” Orange County Merry Jerry Demings said.
Visit Orlando President and CEO Casandra Matej also encouraged residents who choose to order from one of thousands of local restaurants to take part in the campaign online.
“Our local restaurants are part of the fabric of Orlando’s community, creating jobs for over 100,000 residents and offering a wide variety of cuisine from nearly 40 countries from around the world,” Matej said. “We have over 6,000 restaurants in our region and 407 Day is a great way to show your local favorite that you appreciate them by dining in or ordering out and lifting them up on social media.”
Organizers said in a news release about the event that it’s a great way to show support for the many restaurants who found ways to give back to the community despite the hardships brought on by the pandemic.
“Since late December 2020, dozens of local restaurants have also stepped up to help essential workers in our local community during the COVID-19 crisis in meaningful ways ranging from lunch, dinner and snack donations for the workers working long shifts at the Orange County Convention Center vaccination site,” the release read.
Those who do participate in the campaign Wednesday can show their support publicly by posting photos of their food on @VisitOrlando’s and @OrangeCoFL’s social media channels using the hashtag #407Day.
Our restaurant community has always represented a vital part of who we are as a region. This year, we are proud to continue to show our support for our restaurants through #407Day. We encourage our residents to dine in or order takeout or delivery on April 7, 2021. pic.twitter.com/Y3QD2C3Zmj— Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings (@OCFLMayor) April 5, 2021
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