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Tuolumne County Hopes Electronic Gift Card Program Helps Businesses

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Sonora, CA — A firm has been hired to oversee a new program designed to boost Tuolumne County’s small businesses.

The board of supervisors is setting aside $500,000 of federal American Recovery Act funds to create a touchless e-gift card program. Gift cards will be available for purchase ranging from $25-$100 and the money will be matched, dollar for dollar, by the federal funds. So, anyone purchasing a full $100 gift card will have $200 to spend.

Only locally based businesses will be eligible. District Four Supervisor Kathleen Haff stressed, “Sorry Lowes, but this will not be for you. It would be for the mom and pop type of businesses that are located here in Tuolumne County.”

Assistant County Administrator Eric Erhardt noted that companies like Walmart and Amazon are also ineligible. Stating, “The intent is to get the money back to our local businesses that saw a loss during COVID-19.”

It will include businesses like restaurants, theaters and boutique retailers.

The county hired Modesto Improvement Partnership, Inc. to create an app for the program, to oversee the implementation, sign up businesses, and to market the effort. The company will receive around $60,000. In addition to the federal funding ($500,000), $7,500 was donated by Visit Tuolumne County, $5,000 from Sonora Area Foundation and $2,500 from PG&E.

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