More Ceres businesses are now participating in the city’s RAD card program which allows customers to double their purchasing power.
A total of 10 merchants now participate in the digital gift card program. Recently joining are:
• Supermom’s Frozen Yogurt & More (2531 E. Whitmore Ave., Suite #R),
• Fudge-It Confections (2445 E. Whitmore Ave., #118),
• My Garden Café (2535 E. Whitmore Ave.),
• Little Mexico City Restaurant (1821 Mitchell Road),
• La Morenita Restaurant (1667 Hatch Road).
They join five businesses which have been participating from the beginning: Ceres Drugs, Sam’s Café, Flawless Hair Salon, Alfonso’s, and Meyer CPR & First Aid.
In November the city announced the RAD (Relief Across Downtown) Card program designed to give consumers more purchasing power in downtown Ceres while helping 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 city of Ceres was allocated $200,000 in federal CARES Act funding through Stanislaus County and months into the program only $12,100 worth of RAD purchases has been made. Other cities have experienced greater successes but Ceres businesses have seemingly been resistant to participating, said Steve Hallam, the city’s Economic Development manager.
Initially the county limited RAD to eligible businesses in downtown areas within the county since it was designed to provide “relief across downtown” following Modesto’s successful program in the summer of 2020.
The program was amended to allow all Ceres businesses to participate with the exception of national chain restaurants and stores.
The RAD Card program involves the use of a mobile phone app whereby a customer can use a QR code that can be used to buy merchandise or services at participating downtown Ceres businesses. A customer buys denominations of $25, $50, $75 or $100 through the RAD app, which will be doubled at the time of purchase. Thus, $25 will buy $50 worth of goods and service, $50 becomes $100, $75 becomes $150 and $100 has the power of $200. The most one person can spend is $200. The added value comes from federal CARE Act funds that were allocated to Stanislaus County.
The participating merchant scans the QR code on the card, the merchant enters the amount of the purchase and uploads a photo of the receipt. The merchant is then reimbursed funding within seven days.
Hallam encourages all Ceres residents to download the RAD card app on any Apple or Android device; and register an account and purchase the amounts listed and then enjoy a doubling of those funds dollar for dollar.
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.