As small businesses continue to rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic hit dining and retail stores, Long Beach has launched the Shop Long Beach program, which rewards customers shopping at more than 60 local businesses.

The program kicked off with the “Small Biz Blitz” contest, which runs from July 1 until Sept. 3. During that time, customers can submit photos of their receipts from independent businesses to earn points and rewards.

Inviting friends to participate will also rack up points. Prizes range from $500 and $1,000 in LocalCash (money that’s available in the contactless payment app from Localight, which is the program’s partner), rewards worth $20, and weekly prizes at local restaurants like $50 at Willmore Wine Bar and Buono’s Authentic Pizzeria. Over 100 people will receive prizes and rewards, according to a Localight spokesperson.

The campaign aims to generate $1 million in additional local spending by incentivizing shoppers and diners to spend their money around town. Winners can begin using their rewards through a phased rollout across different neighborhoods throughout the summer.

Michael Baker, 67, cuts Vonell Garrett’s, 71, hair at Mr. Baker’s Style Center, which has been a Long Beach staple for 73 years, Tuesday, July 18, 2023. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

The Pie Bar in Downtown is one of the dozens of businesses participating.

“I joined the program because we love connecting with our neighbors,” The Pie Bar’s founder, Laurie Gray, said in a statement. “Small businesses grow and thrive on the support from those living and working in the local area. When you shop local, you’re investing in your community and that benefits everyone.”

Rewards spending will start Sept. 4, with a focus on North, West and Central Long Beach businesses to stimulate spending in areas the city has identified as low- and moderate-income areas with local businesses owners who identify as Black, Latino, Cambodian and Asian and Pacific Islander.

Shoppers and diners can sign up online to see the over 50 participating businesses and register for the contest. Any independent merchant that hasn’t already signed up can join online as well. Here’s some businesses that have joined:

  • The Wicked Wolf
  • California Tan & Wellness
  • Tom’s Automotive Service Center
  • Long Beach Vintage Etc.
  • Black Sheep Salon
  • Baker Style Center
  • Enhanced By Vee
  • Feather & Leaf Acupuncture
  • Shara Stores
  • Bamboo Teri House
  • Sculpt Fitness Long Beach
  • Bixby Knolls Wellness Center
  • Areté Beauté
  • Los Compadres Restaurant
  • Cassidy’s Corner Café LBX
  • Simple Health Wellness
  • The Vintage LBC
  • AndyLiz Boutique
  • Tom’s Burgers & Teriyaki
  • Casa Chaskis Peruvian Restaurant
  • Fluffy’s Sno-Balls
  • Black Ring Coffee
  • Got A Leaf
  • Buvons
  • Long Beach Ice
  • All City Party
  • Angel Food Donuts
  • Hungry Drea Creations
  • Hahn Jewelry
  • Five Starr Pilates & Fitness
  • Luv, Maman
  • Catalano’s Pizza
  • Vero Pilates
  • Fair Trade Long Beach Retail Collective
  • Wrigley Coffee
  • C.M.R. Flowers and Party Supply
  • Aguas Way
  • Dainty Disco
  • El Paisa
  • La Guanaquita (both locations)
  • Taco Loco 2
  • El Pollo Imperial
  • Ricardo’s Nursery
  • The Teriyaki Grill
  • 39 Degrees
  • The Pie Bar
  • Barry’s Long Beach
  • Ethikli
  • Colossus Bread
  • Rainbow Juices
  • Tuesday’s Sweet Shoppe
  • Long Beach Beer Lab
  • Buono’s Authentic Pizzeria
  • GreenCoast Hydroponics
  • Tracy’s Bar & Grill
  • The Attic
  • Wrigley Coffee
  • Enrique’s Mexican Restaurant
  • Partake Collective
  • Jongewaard’s Bake n Broil

“Long Beach is committed to fostering economic growth by supporting increased spending at our local businesses,” Mayor Rex Richardson said in a statement.

In late 2022, the city sought vendors to launch the Shop Long Beach program, ultimately choosing the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI) in partnership with Localight, a Long Beach-based startup. Funding for the program comes from the Long Beach Recovery Act.