Spanish Fork, UT — The Spanish Fork City Shop Local program that ran in November and December 2020, was a great success for residents and businesses throughout Spanish Fork, putting $663,500 into the local economy.
“Our hope when we created this program was to provide some financial means to every family in Spanish Fork and positively impact our local businesses,” City Manager Seth Perrins said. “As a City, we are thrilled that the shop local program accomplished this goal.”
The City used CARES Act money to fund the program, which consisted of mailing out 11,776 cards with three $25 vouchers that could be spent like cash at participating businesses within Spanish Fork. Of the 35,528 individual vouchers that were mailed out, 26,540 were redeemed.
“We had a goal of 50% redemption with the hope that 60% of vouchers would get redeemed,” Perrins continued. “The 75.12% redemption rate we had demonstrates the enthusiasm that residents and businesses alike had about the program.”
Some businesses credited customers $25 and allowed residents to keep the vouchers to spend at other businesses. One business even decided to donate its $3,975 voucher proceeds into the City’s utility assistance fund which helps low-income individuals and families pay their utility bills.
It’s also worth mentioning that there were five businesses that participated in the program without accepting or redeeming a single voucher.
“The City and Spanish Fork-Salem Area Chamber of Commerce asked Costco, Lowe’s, Macey’s, and Walmart not to participate in the program,” Community and Economic Development Director Dave Anderson said.”These large businesses have been successful because of or in spite of COVID-19, and were gracious enough to decline participation so smaller businesses could benefit.”
One hundred eighty-four unique businesses, from foodservice to automotive to personal care to retail redeemed vouchers with the City for reimbursement. Residents used 47% of the vouchers at foodservice businesses, totaling $317,250. One foodservice business redeemed a program-high $44,375 in vouchers.