Small Businesses across the over 20 cities, towns and unincorporated areas in San Mateo County are what makes each of our communities unique. Over the last 2.5 years we have deployed a variety of innovative and creative opportunities to help County small businesses not only survive but thrive.

One of those opportunities was the launch of the Choose Local San Mateo County app in November 2021. Starting with a pilot launch and then adding new cities over time, we hoped that Choose Local SMC would provide a quick boost to local shops and services throughout the County that were hit hard by the pandemic.  

To achieve that goal, city partners, County staff, SAMCEDA, and Colu, the Choose Local SMC app developer, all worked diligently to promote the app to local businesses and those that live, work or are visiting the County.  But promoting a local shopping app countywide was challenging.  

The Choose Local SMC app did accomplish an important goal of helping users discover a whole range of new businesses that they were previously unaware of. We are both grateful and proud for the work that we were able to accomplish and the businesses we were able to help. Choose Local SMC was a creative and innovative way to help local businesses recover from the pandemic and we are grateful that you downloaded the app and supported the business owners in your community.

Almost a year after the Choose Local SMC app was first launched, we continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic. Now the County has an opportunity to prioritize additional goals such as housing and public health, which will allow it to improve the quality of life for all residents. 

Therefore, the County will be shutting down the Choose Local SMC app on October 31, 2022. Although the tactics are changing, the County is not changing its goal to provide innovative support for its amazing local businesses.

We thank all our local business partners, county organizations and agencies, and consumers that downloaded the app for the support they contributed to the Choose Local SMC pilot project. We hope that those that discovered businesses through the app will continue to shop locally. 

We know you put a lot of time and effort to make this successful and we are sure you have lots of questions. Below are answers to questions you might have as we transition to close the Choose Local SMC app. 

Thank you for making San Mateo County a vibrant and unique place to live, work and play.

County of San Mateo

Summary of the Numbers
Total Users Participating Businesses Redeeming Businesses SMC Points to Users Bonus Points to Businesses Economic Impact
3,828 1,245 78 46,276 34,637 $599,437
For Redeeming Businesses:

1. When will the Choose Local SMC app shut down?

The last day for users to redeem points at your location is on October 18, 2022 at 11:59pm. The app will officially be taken down on October 31, 2022.


2. Do businesses need to do anything once the app is shut down?

No, you will have to do nothing at all on your end.


3. Will I still get reimbursed for the points redeemed at my business and when?

All small businesses will be fully reimbursed for any redeemed SMC points during the normal payment processing cycle. You will receive your full reimbursement by November 4th at the latest.


4. Can users still earn SMC Points as you transition?

No. Users' last day to earn SMC Points was on September 9, 2022.


5. What happens to unused SMC Points?

After October 18, 2022, any unused SMC Points will be donated to local nonprofits.


6. Are users being informed of the app shut down?

Absolutely! All app users will be given advance notice of the need to redeem points by 11:59pm on October 18th, 2022, or that their SMC points will be donated if not redeemed. Users will receive ongoing push notifications, emails, and in-app notifications to encourage them to spend their SMC Points. 


7. What if I have more questions?

You can reach out to us via email at chooselocalsmc@colu.com or by phone at 650-200-0187.


8. Is there other support for local businesses in the County?

Yes! There are a variety of programs and assistance available to local businesses. Many of these organizations participated in the Choose Local SMC pilot program. We encourage you to reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce, your City Economic Development Department, and Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center to learn more about how they can help your business.

 

For Users with Linked Cards and SMC Points in their Wallets:

1. When will the Choose Local SMC app shut down?

The last day for users to redeem SMC Points is on October 18, 2022 at 11:59pm. The app will officially be taken down on October 31, 2022.


2. What happens to unused SMC Points?

Any unused points in your wallet after 12:00am on October 19, 2022 will be donated to local nonprofits.


3. Can I still earn SMC Points as you transition?

No. Users' last day to earn SMC Points was on September 9, 2022.


4. Where can I redeem my SMC Points?

If you would like to redeem your points before 11:59pm on October 18, 2022, just open the Choose Local SMC app and click on the “Redeem” button at the bottom of your screen to discover nearby businesses that accept SMC Points.


5. How do I redeem my SMC Points at a business that accepts them?

When you are checking out at a business that accepts SMC Points, let the cashier know that you would like to use your SMC Points to pay for part or all of your purchase. You will need to confirm in the app and with the cashier.


6. I deleted the Choose Local SMC app but still have SMC Points in my wallet, can I still redeem them?

Absolutely! Please reach out to us directly at chooselocalsmc@colu.com and we will send you a link so you can download the app again and use your points before October 18, 2022 at 11:59pm.


7. What if I have more questions?

You can reach out to us via email at chooselocalsmc@colu.com.

For General Users:

1. When will the Choose Local SMC app shut down?

The app will officially be taken down on October 31, 2022.


2. Can I link my card and earn SMC Points as you transition?

No. Users' last day to earn SMC Points was on September 9, 2022.


3. What can I do with the app until you shut down?

You can still use the app to discover great local businesses across San Mateo County. Just open the app and look for nearby businesses!


4. What if I have more questions?

You can reach out to us via email at chooselocalsmc@colu.com