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Posted on: March 8, 2021

Early Success in Small Business Loyalty Program

Customer showcases gift receipts and gift card.


The City of Tehachapi Small Business Loyalty Program scheduled to run through the month of March saw 62% of the $20 gift cards distributed to local residents in the first week. A total of fifty $20 gift cards were purchased and another five $20 gift cards were donated to the program from a local eatery. 

During the first four days of the program (March 1-4, when city hall was open) 31 local residents brought in receipts totaling $5,326.78 in small business purchases from City of Tehachapi averaging $171.83 per purchase. In the first four hours of Tehachapi City Hall opening on Monday March 8, four additional residents brought in receipts and claimed gift cards. 

We saw that several people who brought in receipts combined multiple purchases from multiple stores to reach the $100 threshold. Everything from lunches, dinners, dry cleaning, pet supplies, antiques, appliance service repairs, auto and lawnmower repairs and haircuts to name a few of the types of businesses we saw receipts from. Each of those 31 people with $100 in eligible receipts then chose a $20 gift card from a local eatery.  

Based on the early success the City of Tehachapi has now purchased an additional $1,000 in gift cards from local businesses to reward people for shopping local. The Tehachapi City Council had approved a second round of gift cards to be purchased based on the success of the program. 

These gift cards were purchased in advance by the City of Tehachapi to ensure the business owners receive a small stimulus on the front end and hopefully increase return traffic to their establishments for gift card redemption and additional purchases.  

“We are all very pleased with the response from the customers but not surprised because Tehachapi loves to take care of one another,” said Corey Costelloe, Economic Development Coordinator. “We are hearing wonderful stories from business owners already about the positive impact the return trips have had on their business and look forward to continuing this project as funding allows.” 

The complete rules for the program and the qualifying purchases are as follows:

1.    Qualifying purchases are those from an independently owned small business located within Tehachapi City limits. Purchases from corporations, large chains or grocery stores are not eligible.

2.    Purchases that qualify for the Small Business Loyalty Program include retail purchases from established small businesses, food and drink (minus alcohol) at independently owned restaurants, personal services (hair, nails, salon) or other goods and services from qualifying businesses.

3.    Items not eligible include alcohol, tobacco, fuel, or grocery items. The City of Tehachapi reserves the right to reject purchases deemed to violate the spirit of the Small Business Loyalty Program.

4.    Participants are asked to bring receipts totaling $100 or more to Tehachapi City Hall, 115 S. Robinson Street, Monday-Thursday 7 AM-5:30 PM to redeem receipts for a $20 gift

card/certificate to a local restaurant.

5.    All receipts will be stamped and returned to participants. Limit one gift card per person week.

6.    Valid purchases must be made from March 1, 2021-March 31st 2021 or until funding for program is exhausted.

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