Not THIS city…Lancaster, California. The City Council in that community voted to take $500,000 from a reserve fund to stimulate consumer spending…and locally. Anyone who spends $300 at a business in Lancaster will get a $30 gift card from the city.
In today’s Wall Street Journal, there’s an article titled “Cities and States Take Stabs At Reviving Local Economies“. The piece outlines the efforts of local governments to support their local economies in these challenging times. In addition to the shop local gift cards, Lancaster is covering vehicle-registration fees for anyone who buys a new car in town.
Other communities are pursuing different ideas. Newark, N.J. is using $1 million trust fund to guarantee bonding for small-scale contractors hoping to get a piece of the federal construction spending. New York, N.Y. is offering office space with computers and kitchens for $200 a month per person and seeding a $3 million “angel investment fund” for start-ups. San Francisco is accessing federal funds to offer small businesses $23 million in no-interest loans.
These unusual times call for non-traditional programs. Anyone in the Locally Grown network have some creative ideas to offer our City Council?