At Sleeping Tiger Fitness and Martial Arts, it's not unusual for workout classes to involve partner work and up-close-and-personal combat training.
- SUPPORT FROM AFAR Locally based app Kick-it Points is allows businesses to offer discounts and coupons to customers who complete certain social distancing activities. The app's interactive map shows which businesses are offering deals.
"So when the social distancing regulations came out," owner Nathan Zimmerman told New Times, "it made things a little bit difficult."
Zimmerman, like so many other business owners, is being forced to adapt to a society filled with consumers who are staying in. With a statewide "shelter at home" officially in effect, non-essential businesses are shuttered and Californians are being encouraged to stay home as much as possible—all in the name of slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Many organizations, Sleeping Tiger Fitness included, have to figure out new ways to connect with consumers and bring revenue in.
That's where Kick-it Points comes in. Kick-it Points is a free, SLO-based app that's been around since 2018. Before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, Kick-it Points allowed businesses to award coupons and deals to residents for completing certain social activities in the real world.
Businesses choose what activities they want to encourage and the deals they want to offer, and those show up on an interactive map inside the app. You can click on different points of interest, such as Mother's Tavern, where you can you can get a dollar off any draft beer if you take a stroll downtown.
Zimmerman joined Kick-it Points last summer. He loved the idea of encouraging people to get out in their communities, while also incentivizing them to try out new businesses that they might not usually consider.
At Sleeping Tiger Fitness, Zimmerman offered free T-shirts to members who completed certain activities through Kick-it Points and a free week of classes to non-members.
But now the whole Kick-it Points mission—socializing—is irrelevant because of COVID-19. So its team is adapting, too. Kick-it points is now allowing businesses to offer coupons and deals to users who complete social distancing activities, like doing an at-home workout or going on a walk alone.
Now through Kick-it Points, Sleeping Tiger Fitness is offering a 40 percent discount on all its online fitness classes, which Zimmerman just recently launched because of coronavirus.
"It allows us to reach people from a distance," Zimmerman said. "I think it's really important, especially with everything locked down, that people find ways to stay active, and keep interacting, and keep supporting each other."
When public officials started cracking down on social distancing a few weeks ago, it left a lot of business owners with little choice but to change their business models in some way, according to Brett Foreman, the founder of Kick-it Points.
And with things changing so quickly, customers don't really know which businesses are open, partly open, or completely closed. Kick-it is an easy way for businesses to let their customers know that they're up and running, Foreman said, while also offering discounts and deals at a time when a lot of community members are struggling financially.
Kick-it Points is partnered with about 150 businesses right now, and while Foreman said most of those are in San Luis Obispo, he's accepting businesses from Cambria to Santa Maria. The coronavirus coupon redemption model is running essentially on the honor system. Customers will be able to set their own goals, and once they've completed the activities, they can use coupons at a business of their choice.
What's most important right now to Foreman is keeping customers and businesses in contact, while also keeping the community safe.
"We're kind of like a connective tissue in the city where if you want to support a local business, if you just go through the platform it's an easy way to see what businesses are out there and what deals they're offering," Foreman told New Times. "As a business, it's a free solution right now."
• To help bolster local and national blood supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, French Hospital Medical Center, and Marian Regional Medical Center are partnering with Vitalant to host an emergency blood drive. Community members can donate blood at Marian from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 30, at French from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 31, and at Arroyo Grande Community Hospital from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 1. Δ
Staff Writer Kasey Bubnash is kickin' it quarantine style with pajamas on. Send tidbits to email@example.com.