Business Concerns & Economic Development Work Group
The CACC Business Concerns and Economic Development Work Group was set up to try to address the concerns of small businesses about whether they will be able to survive through construction and succeed after the light rail is up and running. This is an issue that needs to be more fully addressed if we are to retain a mix of businesses that includes locally owned ethnic and mom-and-pop stores.
During construction potential revenue losses are expected to be as high as 40-50%. The Business Concerns Work Group and a number of business associations, representing University Avenue, Stadium Village and Asian businesses, have called for a support fund to help replace lost revenues during construction. But so far only $1.5 million has been set aside to provide interest-free loans, and the amount that can be awarded to any one business is limited to a maximum of $10,000. (In contrast, Seattle set up a $50 million business support fund to sustain about half the number of at risk businesses.) The Business Concerns Work Group is continuing to work to identify additional funding sources for business support during construction.
A “Discover Central Corridor” Loyalty Card Program is an initiative that is being developed to try to bring more customers in to businesses in construction zones. The CACC is endorsing the Discover Central Corridor Loyalty Program.
How would it work?
People supporting your organization would present the card to a participating merchant. The card user would then receive 70% of the discount offered and your organization would receive 30% of the discount.
For example, If a merchant is offering a 25% discount on a purchase $100, the customer would receive $17.50 in savings, and the organization or charity would receive a $7.50 from that transaction. These proceeds would be distributed to organizations on a quarterly basis.
To participate in the program, an organization would:
- purchase cards from the program ($0.30 to $0.90 depending on card volume)
- distribute cards to supporters (cards may be sold by the organizations to cover the cost or hold a fundraiser to purchase the cards)
- purchase additional marketing material for a fee if desired
- receive quarterly payments of 30% of the discount offered by the merchants whose businesses are patronized
The CACC Business Concerns and Economic Development Work Group is continuing to work with the Business Resource Collaborative (BRC), the University Avenue Business Association (UABA), the Asian Economic Development Association (AEDA), the Stadium Village Business Association and other engaged organizations and governmental bodies to ensure small business survival. Community members and business owners are welcome to join the work group.