As San Diego County reopened the economy on June 15, Chula Vista launched its Choose Chula smart city app, a city-run pilot program to boost local businesses and boost economic recovery. In partnership with Colu Technologies, Chula Vista is among the first five cities in the U.S., and top 10 internationally, to launch this white label app.
Residents and visitors that utilize this app get rewarded with Chula Points, which can be redeemed at any participating businesses.
Economic Development Specialist Miranda Evans said that they reached out to more than 300 businesses to participate and at launch time it had 93 businesses and counting participating in the pilot program that well be monitored through November.
“As we are reopening it remains critically important to support our small businesses in order to recover as a community,” she said. “Economic Development wanted a tool to help aid in an equitable economic recovery. A tool that was accessible, fun, engaging, and data driven for our local small businesses, to stimulate our economy, and engage with our residents. With this tool, choosing to support local has never been easier.”
Evans said with the Chula Points, everything that is earned in Chula Vista, stays in Chula Vista. Businesses that redeem points will be reimbursed by the city. The program has $30,000 in bucket funds for the pilot program.
Mayor Mary Casillas Salas said as a smart city, it is always looking for innovative solution to better serve local businesses and the community.
“Through the launch of the Choose Chula app, we are strengthening our circular economy and keeping dollars in our community while supporting our small businesses,” she stated in a press release. “Choosing to support our local Chula Vista businesses is easier than ever with this app as a proven and powerful tool.”
The free app is available for download on Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Users can securely link debit cards, credit cards, or prepaid debit cards to their app account. Shoppers and diners can use their linked cards at participating businesses to earn Chula Points which can later be spent at redeeming businesses on purchases. Each Chula Point is worth $1.