The Union Democrat

Webinar to provide more info on RAD cards


Tuolumne County will hold a webinar Monday morning to provide more informatio­n about an upcoming electronic card program aimed at supporting local businesses reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic by doubling the amount their customers can spend.

The webinar is scheduled to be hosted via Zoom at 9 a.m. Monday by county Innovation and Business Assistance Director Cole Przybyla about the so-called Relief Across Downtown cards, or RAD cards, a program that originated in Modesto.

“With Tuolumne County small businesses reeling from the pandemic, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisor­s is partnering with RAD Card for a ‘win-win’ program to put some dollars in local wallets while incentiviz­ing spending at county restaurant­s, services, and retailers,” Przybyla said in a news release.

Using $500,000 in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan, the county Board of Supervisor­s recently approved a contract with the nonprofit organizati­on Modesto Improvemen­t Partnershi­p Inc. to set up the program.

A launch date for the program was yet to be determined as of Wednesday afternoon, though the stated goal has been to have it running in time for the holiday shopping season.

The way it will work is through a digital app that people can download on their smartphone to purchase a gift card in an amount of $25, $50, $75, or $100, with the county then providing an equal amount to the one purchased.

For example, a person who purchases a card for $100 would then get an additional $100 deposited into their account to spend at any eligible participat­ing retailers and restaurant­s within the county.

A unique QR will be assigned to each customer’s app that can be scanned by the businesses when a transactio­n occurs.

“It is important to note that this is not a physical gift card to keep in a wal

let,” Przybyla noted in the news release. “Rather, it is a completely touchless mobile experience from a smartphone app.”

Materials on how businesses and consumers can apply for the program were anticipate­d to be released before or during the webinar on Monday, the news release said.

County officials said eligible businesses are intended to be locally owned, mom-and-pop operations as opposed to national chain stores or mega-corporatio­ns, such as Walmart or Lowe’s, with the Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce helping to vet and sign them up.

People will be able to purchase the cards on a first-come, first-served basis until the funding runs out, after which the county Board of Supervisor­s could decide to put more of the $10.6 million the county received through American Rescue Plan toward the program.

An additional $15,000 in funding for the program was provided by outside groups, including $7,500 from the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau, $5,000 from the Sonora Area Foundation, and $2,500 from Pacific Gas and Electric Co..

The Modesto Improvemen­t Partnershi­p Inc. will receive about $60,000 for transactio­n and administra­tion fees. That will leave about $455,775 for matching gift card funds, enough for 4,557 cards at $100 apiece.

For more informatio­n on the RAD card, go to https://

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