By Bill Lambert, Alameda County's Assistant Director of Economic Development
Castro Valley “Shop The Blvd” participating merchants:
Last Fall we began a throughout Castro Valley. With 50 percent of the target area merchants joining, you were thoughtful enough to become one of the 100 participating merchants!
Now, with the loss of Redevelopment funding, the contract with the “Shop The Blvd’s” web site manager expires this Saturday, June 30.
They will longer host the web site, update the “Shop The Blvd” facebook page, or send out “tweets” on the Twitter account. The “Shop The Blvd” program will come to a close. The CV Forum published an article carrying this message in this week’s paper.
However, I want to remind you that the County’s “Ad Grant Program” will remain in place through the end of streetscape construction for firms in the target area. So far two dozen firms have taken advantage of this program, which reimburses businesses up to $500 for eligible advertisements. Our program manager for this is Joe Flores. Contact him at 510-670-6110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to emphasize that social media advertising is an eligible expenditure under this program. Social media is the fastest growing and most efficient way to spread the word amongst a diverse customer base. The “Shop The Blvd” social media campaign saw rapidly expanding “hits”, “likes” and “chatter”.
I want to encourage all of the you, participating merchants, to explore the establishment of social media accounts for your firm. The Chamber of Commerce is prepared to refer you to several firms in Castro Valley that offer this service. Contact the Chamber at 537-5300 for referrals.
“Shop The Blvd” may be gone, but marketing efforts live on. Continue to encourage your customers to shop locally, and reach them via traditional messaging and/or social media advertising!