Omar de Frias, brand owner of Fratello Cigars, worked at NASA before entering the cigar industry, and he remembers what it was like to be a furloughed employee during the 2013 government shutdown. Now he wants to offer some relief to the hundreds of thousands of federal workers in the D.C.-area who aren’t collecting paychecks by discounting his cigars.
“Having been furloughed myself back in 2013 while working at NASA, I can tell you the uncertainty and the worry was real for me and my family,” said de Frias.
Through a partnership with D.C.-based W. Curtis Draper Tobacconist, all Fratello Cigar brands will be discounted 15 percent for any furloughed government employee who shows a valid government ID. According to de Frias, the promotion has already begun and will continue until two weeks after the record-setting shutdown, now in its 35th day, ends.
The offer will be honored at both W. Curtis Draper locations in Bethesda, Maryland and in downtown Washington D.C as well as Civil Cigar Lounge, another D.C. cigar shop owned by the same group.
“Being in Washington D.C., we see the stress of furloughed government employees and we want to help them in their time of need,” said John Anderson, co-owner of W. Curtis Draper and Civil Cigar Lounge. “Smoking a cigar is a fantastic way to relax and we would like to offer all furloughed government employees a discount on Fratello cigars in their time of need.”
De Frias added that all retailers in the D.C-Maryland-Virginia area can get 20 percent off their Fratello purchases, but only if they promise to participate in the furloughed employee promotion.