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  • Pima County partners with City of Tucson on digital voucher program to help local businesses

    Jun 18, 2020 | Read More News
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    Pima County and the City of Tucson have partnered with Hownd, an online marketing platform, on a digital voucher program that will be available free to local businesses navigating the effects of COVID-19.

    The platform is designed for local brick-and-mortar businesses to generate immediate cash sales and future foot traffic as businesses work to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

    The campaign, “Shop Our Local Deals (SOLD),” invites merchants to join the platform so customers can purchase support vouchers, much like digital gift cards, and take advantage of promotional offers from local businesses. For the businesses that sign up, the County and City will initially cover Hownd’s administrative fees, which would ordinarily be charged to the participating merchant.

    The partnership is a win-win for consumers and businesses, said Jane McCollum, general manager of the Marshall Foundation, which manages Main Gate Square near the University of Arizona.
    Hownd graphic
    “We are pleased with the support that the City of Tucson and Pima County has given to our local merchants as they navigate COVID-19,” McCollum said. “The County and City’s willingness to launch Hownd, an robust online and data-driven marketing platform, at no cost our merchants will help all of the Main Gate Square and Tucson’s precious local businesses survive and flourish.”

    The Hownd platform will not only benefit businesses throughout the County, but it’s also extremely easy for consumers to use, observed John Moffatt, Pima County’s director of Economic Development.

    “Let’s say you want to buy your dad a gift voucher to his favorite restaurant for Father’s Day,” explained Moffatt. “If you purchase that through Hownd, those funds immediately go into the merchant’s pockets, even if you wait to use that voucher several weeks or months down the road.”

    He also noted that many of the area’s small businesses have little to no digital or online presence. “This partnership creates a pathway for those businesses to engage with consumers online and encourage residents to shop local.”

    Barbra Coffee, City of Tucson’s director of economic initiatives, said the program is one more way the City is assisting businesses that have struggled due to forced closures and challenges created by COVID-19. 

    “What better way to help businesses get back on their feet than by driving foot traffic through their doors?” Coffee said. “Hownd provides the business a user-friendly way to engage with consumers and invite them back in.”

    Consumers who want to support Tucson and Pima County businesses through the program can download the MyHownd app from their favorite app store or look for deals through social media or a participating business’s website.

    There are limited funds available to cover the sign-up costs, so interested businesses are encouraged to sign up early to take advantage of the County/City support. 

    Businesses based in Tucson and within Pima County can learn more about the program, request information, and sign up at hownd.com/Tucson-Pima. They also can visit Pima County’s website at pima.gov/SOLD or the City of Tucson’s website at connecttucson.com/hownd