The results are in for the City of San Luis Obispo’s Buy Local Bonus program. A total of $943,547 was injected directly into the local economy this holiday season, marking the fourth consecutive year of substantial impact, according to the SLO Chamber of Commerce. Some of the businesses in this program included The Mountain Air, Boo Boo Records and Open Air Flowers. The city collaborated with the SLO Chamber of Commerce to intensify its commitment to supporting local businesses by increasing its initial investment to $125,000, according to a City of SLO news release. This investment was utilized to acquire twenty-five $25 gift cards from qualified local establishments. The promotion, which ran from Nov. 24 to Dec. 23, served as an incentive for shoppers to prioritize local retailers in the city of SLO.
“At a time when online shopping is the easier choice, we are thrilled to see such a significant number of community members make the intentional choice to spend their money at local retailers,” SLO City Economic Development & Tourism Manager Molly Cano said in the release. The program surpassed expectations, selling out earlier than anticipated and exhausting the city’s funding, according to the release. This year’s program witnessed about 5,000 shoppers qualifying for the promotion—a notable 23% increase from the previous year. Gift cards were distributed among 170 different local businesses, reinforcing the program’s widespread support. According to the City of SLO website, shoppers actively participated in the program, submitting nearly 8,000 qualified receipts. “The community tells us year after year how important this program is to them, which is why we’ve invested in it more this year than ever before,” City Manager Derek Johnson said to the SLO Chamber of Commerce.