Lancaster Takes a Local Approach to the Economic Crisis

Article excerpt

When a consumer buys a new car or motorcycle within Lancaster, Calif., the city will rebate the cost of his or her registration fees in the form of Lancaster Shop & Dine dollars, saving the resident hundreds of dollars and helping save local jobs and city services.

"We've designed the Shop & Dine program to keep funds circulating within our city," said Lancaster City Manager Mark V. Bozigian. "The gift cards can only be spent at Lancaster businesses, and studies have shown that people will typically spend 140 percent of the value of a gift card. Our local merchants are excited about the program."

The Vehicle Registration Rebate Program and the Shop & Dine Program, which also allows persons who spend at least $300 within the city to receive a girl card, are just two of more than 20 initiatives launched recently by the Lancaster City Council as part of its multi-faceted new economic stimulus program. To help jump start the city's local economy, the aggressive program is expected to generate $110 million dollars of economic activity within the city and surrounding region.

"All of us on the City Council are proud and excited about this stimulus package," said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. "City staff presented us with a plan which is timely, temporary, targeted and demand-driven. We're only a month into implementing the plan, and we're already experiencing very good results. The auto dealers have been reporting increased sales, and now every business in Lancaster can benefit. …