Our motto “Locals Supporting Locals” embodies our mission to build thriving locally-owned communities which are more sustainable, more entrepreneurial and more connected. Each small business owner has an artistic vision and passion they share with their community that you don’t find in Corporate America. That passion and vision fuels the company culture at LoLo as we strive to Keep the Local Vibe Alive.
The Idea For LoLO Rewards
In 2011, Clark was frustrated that his credit card rewards were only good for travel and national chains, not the local businesses he loved. Clark grew up in a small town where the sense of community was still strong and he hated watching as some of his favorite small businesses were shuttered. His business partner, Matthew Simpson, was raised in Nashville, TN where everyone was on a first-name-basis and creativity and unique expression were encouraged. He always wanted to experience what made each different community unique and was increasingly disappointed when he saw different cities starting to look the same as more chains expanded. They combined their passion for local and their backgrounds in technology to start LoLo in 2012. Their goal was to develop a marketing program for small businesses that was financially sustainable, wouldn’t rely on discounts and could run passively behind the scenes.
R&D- The Tinkering Phase
The LoLo team spent two years market-testing LoLo Rewards in Asheville, Andersonville Chicago, Spartanburg, SC and the Research Triangle before realizing card-linked technology was not developed enough to support the program and resources were too limited to build a successful network of locals using the program.
The PIvot- LoLO Gifts
In the summer of 2015, Beverly-Hanks & Associates Real Estate approached LoLo to help them create a better way for their agents to stay engaged with their clients. LoLo Gifts launched with the Local Gift of the Month campaign to send gifts from sales agents to their clients at local businesses in the community. After a successful pilot that grew from 15 to 100 agents within the year, LoLo began selling to larger companies nationwide who wanted to use their marketing dollars to support local businesses.
What's happening now
LoLo members have spent over $2,000,000 in our network of participating businesses and LoLo has delivered over 300,000 gifts to clients. LoLo is slowly and steadily building our network of local businesses across the country. Our dream is to put the local business top of mind when you make the decision to eat, drink, shop or buy a gift. We do things the old fashion way - putting our clients first and living by our mission to Keep the Local Vibe Alive.