Ceres city officials hope that the latest release of RAD Card funding for consumers will spur more sales for Ceres businesses as the holiday shopping season nears.
The program is designed to increase consumer spending for purchases at eligible Ceres businesses, restaurants, personal care services and specialty retailers. Last June the Ceres City Council voted to use $200,000 of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to entice shopping in Ceres while helping consumers make their money stretch farther.
The program works when shoppers buy a digital card on the RAD card app in denominations of $25, $50, $75 or $100 and get a dollar-for-dollar match to double purchasing power. The maximum one person can buy is $100.
The RAD card app must be first downloaded onto any Apple or Android device; and then register an account and purchase the amounts listed and then enjoy a doubling of those funds dollar for dollar.
The only catch is that the program will not be extended to any national chains, including fast-food franchises and national chain stores like Walmart. Only Ceres businesses that are locally owned and operated and not a national franchise type business can participate.
Merchants who are participating in the program are: Ceres Drug Store, 2929 Fourth Street; Sam’s Café, 3052 Fifth Street; Flawless Hair Salon, 2938 Fourth Street; Alfonso’s Mexican Grill, 2375 Lawrence Street; Meyer CPR & First Aid, 2904 Fourth Street; Supermom’s Frozen Yogurt, 2531 E. Whitmore Ave., Suite R; Fudge-It Confections, 2445 E. Whitmore Ave.; My Garden Café, 2535 E. Whitmore Ave.; Little Mexico City, 1821 Mitchell Road; and La Morenita Restaurant, 1667 E. Hatch Road.
Those who have already used the RAD Card can check their RAD app for live updates as new businesses enroll.
The program is called RAD, an acronym for Relief Across Downtown (RAD). It was originally a downtown Modesto innovation paired with economic relief funds to help merchants struggling with the loss of business due to the government shutdown of the many mom and pop stores while the national chains remained open. The program was picked up by Ceres, first exclusively limited to downtown Ceres but since expanded to other businesses in Ceres citywide. RAD card is also a program used by the cities of Turlock, Oakdale, Newman and Hughson.
The merchant has to agree to participate. The QR code is scanned, the merchant enters the amount of the purchase and uploads a photo of the receipt. The merchant is then reimbursed funding within seven days.
Consumers should ask downtown merchants if they participate in the program, and if not, encourage them to do so.
Business owners/operators wishing to participate in the RAD Card Program should contact the Ceres Economic Development Department at 538-5756 (leaving a message if necessary); or email to Hallam at email@example.com. Business nominations will be confirmed within 24 hours.
After a quick review by the city to determine eligibility, the nominated business will be notified and, if approved, they will be given an okay to register on the RAD App as an eligible business.