It’s Game Time in Rancho Cordova
City launches RCity app to encourage local shopping through gamification
While downtowns across the country are looking different these days, here in the Sacramento region, cities are finding new ways to help businesses adapt and thrive.
The City of Rancho Cordova along with the Rancho Cordova Area Chamber of Commerce and software developer Colu have partnered to create RCity, a dual-purpose application to support local businesses that have been hurt during the pandemic. The always-pioneering Rancho Cordova is the second city in the United States to launch this app.
“With technology and public-private partnerships, we are investing in our community in unique ways. We are supporting our local businesses and reigniting the spark between businesses and residents, and we can’t wait to see how this app can build our local economy and enhance our community,” says Rancho Cordova Councilmember David Sander.
The idea behind the application is taking the usual “shop local” campaigns and promotions one step further through gamification. Residents get points as they shop local and earn rewards that they can then use in other local businesses. While users earn points and can get free items, the City understands businesses can’t afford to absorb these costs, so the City is footing the bill. The rewards are fully funded through Rancho Cordova’s Measure H – the Community Enhancement Fund, which means businesses get full payment even when residents are getting rewards; it is a win all around. Every dollar invested into the rewards program by the City is expected to generate nine dollars of local economic activity.
“This is an exciting project supporting our small business community. It will generate income, develop new customers, and increase awareness of the wide range of businesses in our city,” states Diann Rogers, CEO of the Rancho Cordova Area Chamber of Commerce.
Local economies are critical to a city’s well-being and with this app, what’s earned in the city, stays in the city, allowing the local economy to grow. The dynamic partnership between a city, a chamber of commerce, and a private tech company shows the fundamental understanding of where the future of cities and businesses lies. As economies and businesses evolve, it is clear they need not only the innovation of the private sector and tech world, but also the community stewardship of local governments. The region’s Prosperity Plan highlights the need to focus on and invest in the regional economy, but the regional economy starts with each city and county.
RCity is currently in a soft launch phase and is actively recruiting businesses to join. Staff are working on including smaller and minority-owned businesses in the program by reaching out in person, providing translation services, and assisting with the application to join. The app is available for free on both the Apple Store and Google Play.