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About the App

Choose Local San Mateo County is a free smartphone App designed to support local businesses recovering from pandemic impacts.

Choose Local helps businesses attract more customers, engage with them, and boost their revenue -- all at no cost to the business. Customers who shop locally will be rewarded with SMC Points, which can be used as cash discounts at local stores.

Your business can participate in the following ways:

1. Participating Business

A "Participating Business" is a business located in a participating area of San Mateo County that has agreed to participate in the Choose Local San Mateo County Program. By doing so, the business enables customers to earn SMC Points when they shop at their business.

Participating Businesses will benefit from countywide marketing to encourage residents to shop local and being part of a small business customer loyalty program that increases foot traffic to your business and business districts.

2. Redeeming Business

A "Redeeming Business" is a business located in a participating area of San Mateo County that has agreed to participate in the Choose Local San Mateo County Program AND they accept SMC Points from customers as a form of payment. These Points (discounts) will be reimbursed to the business by the County of San Mateo.

Redeeming businesses will benefit from being featured more prominently in the app as a place where customers can spend their SMC Points, boosted revenues for accepting SMC Points, which will be reimbursed by the County of San Mateo.

 

How to Participate in Choose Local San Mateo County

We are currently processing business applications from: Belmont, Burlingame, Daly City, Half Moon Bay/Coastside, Millbrae, Redwood City and North Fair Oaks, Portola Valley, San Bruno, San Mateo, and South San Francisco. However, we encourage all interested businesses to complete an application, and our team will notify you when your area is added to the Choose Local app. 

Apply

Apply to be part of the program by completing this application - available in English, Chinese, Spanish and Tagalog. If qualified (see eligibility criteria below), you will receive an email welcoming your business to the Choose Local San Mateo County app.

Enroll

If you would like to become a Redeeming Business and accept SMC Points as payment, you will receive an email with detailed next steps. The video and flyer found under the Resources heading (to the right) can help you complete the necessary steps to become a Redeeming Business.

Promote

Once your application is finished, we will deliver promotional items to help you spread the word.

Connect

Connect, engage, and create meaningful relationships with your customers and encourage them to explore the small business community in San Mateo County.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Demonstrated COVID-19 impact such as a forced closure and/or reduced occupancy
  • For-profit or non-profit business located within the San Mateo County limits
  • Valid business license and operating permits (as applicable)
  • Legally operating business located in a commercial or industrial space (home-based businesses are ineligible)
  • Independently owned and operated, with the principal office located in San Mateo County (publicly traded companies and corporate-owned franchise businesses are ineligible at this time)
  • Businesses should contribute to the overall quality and health of the community (No vape, liquor, marijuana, tobacco stores)
  • Businesses must accept credit cards or debit cards
  • We are currently processing applications of businesses located in the pilot or expansion areas of: Daly City, Half Moon Bay/Coastside, Millbrae, Redwood City and North Fair Oaks, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco, Burlingame and San Bruno. However, we encourage all interested businesses to complete an application, and our team will notify you when your area is added to the Choose Local app. 

Email for questions:

Please contact chooselocalsmc@colu.com

 

Resources
Steps to Become a Redeeming Business

Participating businesses may choose to become a redeeming business, meaning they will accept SMC Points as payment at NO cost to their business.  SMC Points are reimbursed by the County of San Mateo. Redeeming businesses will be featured in the app, and enjoy more foot traffic as customers look to spend their SMC Points. The below video walks through these instructions on how to become a Redeeming Business:

Flyers