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MTS Launches Eat-Shop-Play Small Business Support Campaign


A new campaign to help small businesses recovering from the pandemic has launched by the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS). Eat-Shop-Play is a small business support program that rewards people for shopping local. Designed to get more customers into neighborhood stores and spur more economic development, the program is free for retailers and is supported by an MTS-sponsored outreach and advertising campaign.

The transit-adjacent business districts included in the initial launch of Eat-Shop-Play include Barrio Logan, Chula Vista, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, East Village, Imperial Beach, National City, and North Park. Each customer who signs up receives a branded stamp card to track purchases at participating businesses. When the card is filled, customers earn a free monthly transit card – valued at $72.

“Small businesses and affordable transit are essential drivers of economic recovery for our region,” said Nathan Fletcher, MTS Board Chair and Chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “Eat-Shop-Play is a great program that encourages people to re-explore their neighborhoods through the transit system, and at the same time helping businesses that have persevered through the pandemic. Our goal is to help them bounce back stronger than ever.”

There are approximately 100 businesses participating in the program, with more joining daily. The program focuses on walkable neighborhoods with bus and Trolley stops located near business districts. Small businesses participating in the cooperative marketing program are featured on the EatShopPlaySD website, billboards, Trolleys and bus benches, online advertising, and MTS social media.

“This program is fun way for people to support our neighborhood businesses and I’m excited to be a part of it,” said Gy Kirk, Owner of Sheldon’s Service Station in La Mesa. “I want to thank MTS for getting our business in front of thousands of new customers just when we need it most."

Participating businesses are encouraged to create unique offers or insider deals to increase foot traffic further. Examples of insider deals include discounts, happy hour specials, and buy one, get one offers.

To sign up or view the list of participating businesses by neighborhood, go to