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Littleton adopts new rewards program encouraging customers to support local, small businesses

Littleton adopts new rewards program encouraging customers to support local, small businesses
Littleton adopts new rewards program encouraging customers to support local, small businesses 01:31

The term "shop local" is taking on a high-tech meaning in Littleton. A new reward program in the city is aimed at encouraging shoppers to support small and locally-owned businesses.

It's through a program and app called "Open Rewards." It rewards customers when they make purchases at local shops, specifically in Littleton.

As a new business owner, Dave Mayo is looking for any advantage he can to bring people into his shop, Littleton Meats. He opened the business in November.

Now, his business is also one of nearly 160 participating in the "Open Rewards" program.

"As being a new business, it's great exposure for us. I think it's one of the coolest programs that I've seen," said Mayo.


When a customer downloads the app, they can then upload their receipts from local purchases. Customers can then earn 5% back. The city funded $40,000 for the program.

"It's not coming out of these small businesses pockets, and it's amazing," said Mayo. "Just being able to incentivize shopping small, shopping local in this area, I think it's a super big help for all of us."

Not only is the program boosting the economy, it's creating an environment for people to enjoy the city they live in.

"I think this is a great program. Littleton is home to many small businesses, and our small businesses are a huge factor in cultivating our small town feel," said Mayor Kyle Schlachter.

Schlachter even uses the app too. He said the program is part of the city working with small businesses to support them, but also incentivizing customers to shop at small businesses.

"If I go to the small businesses, you know, I receive some benefit too, but they receive benefits too," said Schlachter.


Jamie Crout is the  Economic Development Specialist II for the city. She said the goal is to retain customers and retain businesses in Littleton.

Crout also said that since the app launched in September, it has already shown success. About 450 customers have signed up, and 71% of users said they shopped at a local business because of the program.

"I've heard from business owners that these customers are choosing to come back to their store because they know that they're going to get some money back from shopping there."

Crout also added that January can typically be a slower time for business, but the hope is that this program helps bring in more customers this time of year.

"We want to continue to push the rewards for those consumers, so they continue to be excited about shopping in Littleton, and be excited about the stores that they're going to," said Crout. "This is just one step in creating that business-friendly environment in Littleton."

As for Littleton Meats, a store that also offers items from 35 other local, small businesses, the impact is even greater.


"Almost all of these products in here, are going be from the local small producers, so it does help them a lot," said Mayo. "Us being a grocery story, people are doing their normal shopping and getting rewarded for it. It's a win win."

On the app, you can also search for your favorite shop or business to see if they're participating. Also included, is a user-friendly map which shows businesses nearby participating.

Rewards can be redeemed through services like Venmo or PayPal.

For more information about the "Open Rewards" program as either a customer or business owner, click here

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