The City of San Luis Obispo in partnership with the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce ‘Buy Local Bonus’, a campaign to encourage the support of local businesses, many of which are continuing to struggle due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

The shop local initiative is being funded with $200,000 in revenue from the recently passed Measure G sales tax. The City will purchase up to twenty-five $20 gift cards from various qualified local businesses. Starting on December 14, shoppers can turn in receipt(s) totaling $100 or more from SLO City businesses to receive a $20 gift card to another local business. The ‘Buy Local Bonus’ program will continue month by month until the funds are exhausted with shoppers able to qualify up to three separate times total.

“Our local businesses are the heart and soul of San Luis Obispo,” said Derek Johnson, SLO City Manager. “People from our local and neighboring communities visit for the unique products and services they offer. ‘Buy Local Bonus’ is all about shopping locally, which is one of the most impactful things anyone can do to help our local businesses survive.”

The positive effects of shopping local are extensive and reach beyond what we are able to see when our items are getting rung up at the cash register. For every $100 spent at a small business in the U.S., approximately $68 stay in the local community. Supporting local retailers allows them to in turn employ local people, it’s better for the environment, supports entrepreneurship, and it helps keep our community unique. 

When you spend your dollars locally, part of it goes towards funding essential jobs like firefighters, police and teachers. It also helps pay for infrastructure improvements like repairing potholes, expanding bike lanes and reducing traffic congestion. Shopping at a local business ensures that your sales taxes are reinvested where they belong — in our community.  

“People in our city and region are staying home to save lives, we want to ensure that small businesses can save their livelihoods,” said Jim Dantona, President/CEO of the SLO Chamber. “We are asking our community to put their money where their heart is and participate in the ‘Buy Local Bonus’ initiative.”

For more details on the promotion, including on the Business Buy-In form, head here.