GO LOCAL offers Local Business Recovery Fund for fourth year,
helping locally owned businesses gather more marketing tools to increase their sales.
GO LOCAL Sonoma County has been working to support locally owned businesses for over 14 years. The impacts of multiple recent crises along with the increase of online shopping with mega-retailers have mobilized us to creatively strategize to provide direct support to local businesses and organizations in need.
In 2020, GO LOCAL launched the Local Business Recovery Fund, which resulted in significant and immediate benefit to its participants. We're excited to continue to offer this fund for a fourth year. With these funds, participating locally-owned Sonoma County businesses can double their GO LOCAL marketing and advertising investment, helping them improve their marketing presence, reach more customers and strengthen sales affordably.
This modest matching-funds program is intended as just one of many sources of support for the local business community. An array of economic and community support is necessary to help offset losses from the many challenges to Sonoma County businesses in recent years.
"Community-based financial relief programs are more efficient than state and federal support; are better tailored to the needs of local businesses to aid in regional economic recovery; strengthen collaborative partnerships that may extend into the long-term." (Institute for Local Self Reliance report, 2020).
Let's keep our local business community strong and thriving!
Read a North Bay Business Journal story about this program here.
Read the 2022 press release here.
- Sponsor funding secured - by August 31, 2023
- Open application period for local businesses - August 15-31, 2023
- Recipient businesses contacted - September 5-8, 2023
- Recipients meet with GO LOCAL to finalize their custom plan - by September 31, 2023
The general timeline is aimed to especially support local Sonoma County businesses who particularly rely on robust Q4 holiday sales, which for some sectors can comprise as much of 50% of their annual sales revenue.
The 2023 application period is now closed.
How does it work?
This program is targeted to locally owned Sonoma County businesses who know they need to invest in some level of marketing and advertising immediately to help them increase their marketing presence and sales. Businesses who apply must be ready to commit either $500 or $1000 of their own investment to receive matching funds.
- Businesses commit $500 of their own to get a total of $1,000 to spend on GO LOCAL marketing & advertising, or
- Businesses commit $1000 of their own to get a total of $2,000 to spend on GO LOCAL marketing & advertising.
Who is offering and managing this fund?
GO LOCAL is the membership co-op and Sustaining Technologies, LLC is its partner media company that are raising sponsorship dollars from local financial institutions and other local businesses to make this program happen - see a list of past sponsors below. GO LOCAL and ST administer the funds for the local business participants that apply.
What can funds be spent on?
Selected businesses will work with the GO LOCAL/ST team to craft a custom marketing & advertising plan with their budget, choosing from an extensive menu of GO LOCAL marketing and advertising options with local service providers.
How does my business apply?
2023 applications open August 15, 2023 at the link which will be provided above, and the application period is through the end of August, 2023. Selected businesses will be contacted starting September 1st. Fund approval will be based on:
- Date of application submission
- Current status as a locally-owned business or a nonprofit in Sonoma County.
- A very brief need statement, describing any recent negative impact to their business of consumer trends, or global and/or local events.
- Commitment to submit full payment of $500 or $1000 within 30 days of program selection (by Oct 1st), or in 2 payments within 60 days (by Nov 1st).
What happens once businesses are selected?
Selected applicant businesses will be contacted the first week of September to set up a phone, online or in person meeting to craft their customized marketing & advertising plan with their funds from GO LOCAL's menu of offerings. Then we'll get your plan rolling!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be a sponsor.
A huge thanks to our 2023, 2022, 2021, and 2020 sponsors who have contributed over $52,000 in matching funds!
- Summit State Bank
- SOMO Living
- Poppy Bank
- Exchange Bank
- Friedman's Home Improvement
- Oliver's Market
- Luther Burbank Savings
- Clover Sonoma
- Mengali Accountancy
- Mercy Wellness
- An anonymous donor of $5,000
Where sponsor dollars go:
- $1,000 - provides matching funds for 1-2 businesses
- $5,000 - provides matching funds for 5-10 businesses
- $10,000 - provides matching funds for 10-20 businesses
- $25,000 - provides matching funds for 25-50 businesses
- Logos featured in all promos, and in communications to participating businesses during the length of the program.
- Sponsors can opt to match their funds directly to selected participating merchants for direct co-promotion and connection.
- Sponsors may also provide additional resources to be shared individually with participating businesses.
TESTIMONIALS FROM PAST PARTICIPANTS
I received matching funds with GO LOCAL's Local Business Recovery Fund in the fall of 2021, and it was helpful to my business because we really needed to enter the post-quarantine economy strong, and marketing is so key to our continued success and staying power. I’m so grateful for my relationship with Janeen and the GO LOCAL family, they have the resources and connections I need to compete locally for my financial sustainability and to employ a diverse group of people from my community. - Melena Moore, Bliss Organic Day Spa
Local Business Recovery Fund through GO LOCAL has provided our organization, Agricultural Community Events Farmers' Markets, the ability to continue advertising to our target customers through Made Local Magazine. We operate 7 farmers' markets in Sonoma County which support our local farmers, food businesses and artisans. In the current economic climate it can be difficult for nonprofits like ours to include advertising and marketing in our budgets. The Local Business Recovery Fund has allowed us to keep our marketing budget at a reasonable level so we can continue sharing what we offer to the readers of Made Local Magazine. - Kelly Smith, Agricultural Community Events Farmers' Markets
I received matching funds with GO LOCAL's Local Business Recovery Fund last year, and it was helpful to my business because it intensified our exposure in the community just when it counted the most. GO LOCAL's direct mail program can’t be beat; we’re definitely participating again! - Bernie Schwartz, California Luggage Co.
The matching of funds essentially gave Not Yer Momma's Granola double the reach! We are so grateful for this opportunity and the unwavering support of the local community. We truly could not survive without the continued support from folks committed to buying local and helping local businesses stay afloat. Thank you to GO LOCAL and the community members who helped to build the sponsorship that has helped so many of us during these difficult times. - Myra Hallman, Not Yer Momma’s Granola
It has been a long journey of perseverance and I thank God for our blessings and our amazingly supportive community. Thank you so much GO LOCAL! :) - Dana Lucas, Fishetarian Fish Market
GO LOCAL made advertising and reaching our local community much easier and more affordable through their business recovery fund. We were able to get more exposure and response than we would have normally for the same advertising budget; and that helped us experience a much better holiday season than anticipated. We really appreciate GO LOCAL and all of their support. - Micah Kradin, Olde Towne Jewelers & Filigree Estate Jewelers
Our shop was a 2020 GO LOCAL Recovery Fund recipient which enabled us to reach a much larger audience for a food drive we were having through print ads and radio. Had we not received the matching funds we certainly wouldn't have been able to promote it on the radio, nor reach as many people as we did…Bottom line is none of this is or would be possible without the matching funds we received. We owe a huge thank you to the "Local Business Recovery Fund". - Terri Erickson, Your Automotive Excellence
I'm really grateful to be one of the businesses able to take advantage of GO LOCAL's Local Business Recovery Fund…I had to quickly transition to teaching online via Zoom, which definitely had a learning curve. With income down, I was really watching my spending. Now I'll be able to use these funds to increase my marketing and advertising in 2021! - Dana Davis, Sonoma Body Balance
We applied for the Local Business Recovery funding to be able to use the matching funds for marketing and communication to let customers know that we were open for take out, with safety precautions in place. The added marketing funds have helped increase awareness and new customers. Thank you for including Patisserie Angelica in the Local Business Recovery Fund! - Jennifer Lynn Bice, Patisserie Angelica
The ads we were able to place thanks to the generous help of the marketing funds provided to match our ad spend were hands down the best advertising investment we made in 2020! After having to close down our small factory retail store in March, especially the ad in the Shop Local insert (Holiday Direct Mail Magazine) gave us great exposure and brought numerous new customers to our store when we reopened in November. Many customers walked in with the shop local ad in hand excited to have learned about us and our upcycled fire hose products. Thanks again GO LOCAL for making things like this happen! - Steffen Kuehr, Sonoma USA and TekTailor
I am pleased to share that GO LOCAL is ethical and they care about my business…Cheryl Teach Music was fortunate to be one of the recipients of a funds matching grant for Local Business Recovery Funds that has made a dramatic impact on the current health and state of my business. I had my Brick and Mortar Business Location for over 52 years and with the Covid-19 Pandemic forced closure of my business I immediately learned how to use an online platform for teaching my students music and for continuing their music and instrumental studies…GO LOCAL and the matching Local Business Recovery Funds Grant assisted me in my new journey and adventure in the rebuilding of my business online…I am grateful. Thank you. - Cheryl Franklin, Cheryl Teach Music
WHY GO LOCAL?
GO LOCAL Sonoma County is a co-op marketing network for locally owned businesses throughout Sonoma County for 13 years running. Sustaining Technologies, LLC is the management company that works hand in hand with GO LOCAL to deliver smart, locally targeted media services to locally owned businesses, leveraging a shared marketing brand and community-focused messages to create "strength in numbers".
Together, we’ve created a $10M brand built on a strong reputation for growing the number of local-loving fans throughout the county into the tens of thousands.
GO LOCAL/Sustaining Technologies has become THE source for all things local in Sonoma County:
- Promoting local businesses and organizations
- Educating consumers about the benefits of buying locally
- Helping hundreds of businesses annually increase local sales through marketing and advertising
- And, ultimately, getting more dollars recirculating into the local economy.
Director & Board President, GO LOCAL Sonoma County
Manager, Sustaining Technologies, LLC (which manages all GO LOCAL's media projects)
Publisher, Made Local Magazine