Tempe looks to save businesses with 'Buy Now. Save Local' campaign

The Rebound
Posted at 11:14 AM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 20:43:49-04

TEMPE, AZ — Businesses have suffered through stay-at-home orders and now with some restrictions lifted, rebounding is still difficult for many spots in our state.

One East Valley city is trying to give the community tips and simple ways to help citizens bounce back.

"Essentially we're kind of an Eastern European-style restaurant, with a heavy Italian influence," said Jessalyn Italiano. "Old world recipes and traditions from European lifestyle and I think it really helps set us apart on Mill, for sure."

Italiano is one of the owners of Caffe Boa. The restaurant is inside a building more than 130 years old. This Valley business has called the spot in Tempe home for 26 years. She said it is a place built on experience and food being served fresh.

"So that definitely helped, kind of, humble us... in a sense of, 'What could we do that is more than just our menu to go? How can we help the community and what they need?'" Italiano said.

They had to adapt to delivery and take-out. They also had to adjust their menu for family-style meals.

"It's been a little bit of overcoming," Italiano said.

Of course, it has been difficult to stay afloat for many businesses.

That is why owners, like Italiano, are thankful for the Buy Now. Save Local campaign.

"They needed revenue. They needed cash flow," said Jill Buschbacher. She is the city of Tempe's Economic Development Program Manager and part of creating an online initiative to give the community specific ways to take action, even if someone is not ready to go out to eat or shop in a store.

The campaign offers way to buy vouchers through MyHownd or gift cards.

Italiano said that has been huge for them.

Plus, many restaurants, like Caffe Boa, are offering Smart Shopper savings for you.

"The deals that we have right now... two different ones," Italiano explained. "Essentially, you could buy one for $50 and get $65 or buy one for $75 and get $100."

Another push through the campaign is the use of a new app, called 'OpenTempe' which tells you about the businesses out there, their hours, their goods, and more.

"It's made an impact of about $25,000 in revenue to our local businesses so far," Buschbacher said. "And the campaign still continues today and will continue for quite a few months ahead of us."

The campaign also offers tools for businesses. Owners can log on and watch webinars, apply for a loan, and even get advice for the economic development team.