A new perk is in the works for New Bedford city employees. City Hall is recruiting local businesses to participate in a City of New Bedford Employee Discount Program.

The New Bedford Personnel Department sent a letter to local business owners "to see if they would like to partake in this program by providing a discount for New Bedford City Employees."

The letter explains, "We are looking to see about a 10% discount if possible." Participating businesses "would be exposed to potentially 3,000 employees, which includes all New Bedford City and School employees."

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The letter states, "The Employees will be issued an official 'Employee Discount Card' with their information on the front to prove employment."

The personnel team further explains, "We will have a page on our City website showing employees the participating vendors and the discounts being offered."

While a 10% discount is not likely to draw new customers, it is a saving for those city employees who might already spend money with participating vendors.

Thousands Of New Bedford City Employees To Get A New Benefit
Adam Bass/Townsquare Media

I asked Interim Public Information Officer Holly Huntoon for Mayor Jon Mitchell's thoughts on the discount program and whether it might offer an unfair advantage to participating businesses by providing them free advertising on the city's website.

Huntoon responded, "The Mayor believes that this program will incentivize support for small businesses in the City."

She added, "Our legal counsel has reviewed the matter and has concluded that it is consistent with Massachusetts Law.

"The Mayor emphasizes that this is an entirely voluntary program, and businesses are not required to participate."

There has been no word about when the City of New Bedford Employee Discount Program will begin.

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