#236. Tracy, CA – Taking Economic Stimulus Into Its Own Hands

Posted on | The Agurban

Tracy, CA – Taking Economic Stimulus Into Its Own Hands

A few weeks ago, we told you the story of Danny Cottrell of Brewton, AL. Danny is a local pharmacist in Brewton and wanted to do something for his employees. He gave them each a bonus of $300 to $700 in $2 bills so he and the rest of the Escambia County business community could see how the money circulates. It wasn’t easy for area merchants to miss all the $2 flowing through Brewton.

The city council of Tracy, CA, had their own idea of an economic stimulus. In May 2009, the city council passed a resolution that will give buyers of new cars from dealers within the city a $500 gift card that can be redeemed at local merchants participating in the program.

The city plans to spend $608,000 on the program which will make 800 of the cards available to customers of the Tracy Auto Mall, a collection of dealerships that sell cars from Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, Honda and other brands. With their $500 Tracy gift card, new car buyers can visit any Tracy retailer who accepts credit cards. Many Tracy stores and restaurants will be offering additional discounts for anyone using the “Shop Tracy. Get More!” gift cards.

Auto sales of about 8,000 vehicles each year are responsible for 20 percent of the city’s revenue, but have suffered a 50 percent drop this year.

The gift card program is part of a larger $100 million Local Investment Stimulus Program that city leaders hope will create 3,700 new jobs by the end of 2010.

Way to go, Tracy, CA! Thank you for a great example of taking a proactive approach to helping your residents and your businesses.

We would like to hear about other businesses and communities that are being creative in finding ways to help each other during these trying economic times. We will pass them along in a couple of weeks.