Tempe Launches ‘Buy Now. Save Local.’ Campaign amid COVID-19 Crisis

by Mike Hunter

“Mom-and-pop businesses are the soul of our community; they give Tempe its character,” says Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. Recognizing that local businesses are especially hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic that affects all of us, the City of Tempe this week launches its “Buy Now. Save Local.” campaign. “Tempe businesses are so important to our community, so we came up with a creative campaign,” says Mayor Mitchell. The campaign will encourage residents to buy gift cards and support vouchers now, even for businesses that are currently closed.

The campaign is the result of a collaboration among the City of Tempe, Tempe IDA, Tempe Tourism Office, Tempe Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Tempe Authority. It aims to help businesses located in Tempe — particularly retail and food and beverage — generate revenue, enhance their marketing, and encourage the community to get behind them.

To participate, merchants can sign up for a free account on Hownd. Hownd — which is, itself, a local business — makes it easy for people to buy support vouchers now through a business’s own website, social media, email or their MyHownd mobile app. It takes only about 10 minutes to sign up, and a support voucher for that business could be active on the app within 24 hours. All the funds from any support vouchers purchased stay with that company until someone redeems them. The City of Tempe is picking up all the costs through Hownd through June. Merchants would only have to pay the fees for the credit card transaction through Stripe.

The City will also be profiling businesses that have an offer on the MyHownd app, which can be downloaded from any app store.

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce will host Save Local Saturday on April 18 as a rallying date. The campaign is being promoted through banners, advertising, social media and more. Businesses are encouraged to share anything that is appropriate.

Businesses can learn more and sign up at hownd.com/CityofTempe.

“Small business is the lifeblood of our community; it’s important we’re there for them,” says Mayor Mitchell, who is also chair of Maricopa Association of Governments and shared the program at the organization’s most recent meeting. He notes also that the city’s economic development department offers webinars to help businesses market themselves and strategize.

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