This holiday season, the Buy Local Bonus program in San Luis Obispo has come to an end, and the results are in. The program, which is in its fourth year, has had a substantial impact on the local economy, injecting a whopping $943,547 into it. The SLO Chamber of Commerce worked alongside the city to offer support to local businesses by increasing its initial investment to $125,000.
The promotion ran from Nov. 24 to Dec. 23 and encouraged shoppers to prioritize local retailers in the city of SLO. Businesses like The Mountain Air, Boo Boo Records, and Open Air Flowers participated in the program. Molly Cano, SLO City Economic Development & Tourism Manager, expressed happiness about the significant number of community members choosing to spend their money at local retailers despite the convenience of online shopping.
The program exceeded expectations and sold out earlier than anticipated, exhausting the city’s funding. About 5,000 shoppers qualified for the promotion – a 23% increase from the previous year. Gift cards were distributed among 170 different local businesses, showing widespread support for the program. Shoppers actively participated in the program by submitting nearly 8,000 qualified receipts according to the City of SLO website. Derek Johnson, City Manager emphasized that this year’s program was more important than ever before as the city invested more in it than ever before.