small business program

Stacey Peel of Tehachapi Keller Williams Real Estate hands a $1,000 check to Corey Costelloe, economic development coordinator for the city of Tehachapi.

The city of Tehachapi's Small Business Loyalty Program received a $1,000 donation from local Realtor Stacey Peel to go toward purchasing more gift cards from small businesses to keep the program going.

According to a city news release, Peel, who is with the Tehachapi Keller Williams Real Estate office, learned the Small Business Loyalty Program was winding down due to overwhelming community response in supporting mom-and-pop businesses and the gift card supply was almost exhausted.

Peel contacted Corey Costelloe, the city's economic development coordinator, about helping to keep the program going due to the success she has personally seen in the local real estate market.

“I grew up in Tehachapi. I know these business owners; we need to support each other and I’m just happy I could do something to support local small businesses," Peel said.

According to Peel, out-of-town customers purchasing Tehachapi real estate often ask her about local businesses and where is a good place to get something to eat, and the donation just made sense.

The city of Tehachapi Small Business Loyalty Program is scheduled to run through March with an initial investment of $1,000. Fifty $20 gift cards were purchased from local eateries in the city of Tehachapi and were given to people who brought in receipts from other small businesses in the city totaling $100 or more.

City Hall saw the initial group of gift cards distributed very quickly, forcing a second $1,000 investment and then a third $1,000 investment in $20 locally owned restaurant gift cards to keep the program going.

These gift cards were purchased in advance by the city of Tehachapi to ensure the business owners receive a small stimulus on the front end and hopefully increase return traffic to their establishments for gift card redemption and additional purchases.

The program has created more than $25,000 in local small business stimulus in less than three weeks and now the program can be extended for an additional week or until the last gift card has been distributed.