Ritual Partners with City of LA, PayPal to Support Local Business

Participating businesses can access the Ritual ONE platform free of cost and reach more customers.

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Need to Know

  • The City of Los Angeles, PayPal, and Ritual are teaming up to launch Open for Business, a new initiative to help small businesses across LA move to contactless transactions and more online orders.
  • Toronto-based Ritual will provide its contact-free Ritual ONE platform to small businesses at no cost until the end of 2020.
  • PayPal and Venmo will offer customers a discount on Ritual orders when they check out using PayPal or Venmo until November 30.
  • The partnership comes as small businesses continue to struggle due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Ritual launched a similar initiative in Toronto in May.

Analysis

Ritual and PayPal have partnered with the City of Los Angeles on a new initiative that aims to support small businesses that are struggling due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The program, called Open for Business, will see Ritual provide its Ritual ONE platform to small businesses in Los Angeles at no cost until the end of the year. The platform will help businesses—which, for Ritual, include restaurants, cafes, and grocery retailers—more seamlessly offer contactless ordering, implement touchless payments, and increase their online orders overall.

“Small businesses and restaurants are the backbone of our economy, and it’s our job to help them navigate the treacherous waters of COVID-19, stay afloat, and ultimately steer us toward a lasting recovery,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said of the program. “Getting through this crisis requires us to tap into the power of partnerships with companies like Ritual and PayPal –– because only through public-private cooperation can we meet our common mission: to save lives and livelihoods across Los Angeles.”

Ritual will allow businesses to sign up for its services and will waive set-up, monthly subscription, and credit-card processing fees. Participating businesses can opt-out at any time.

In addition, PayPal will be contributing $1 million towards the initiative. When customers check out with an order on the Ritual platform using PayPal or Venmo, which is owned by PayPal, they will be offered a discount on their order. PayPal will be offering the discount until November 30.

“PayPal is committed to providing small businesses with new ways to serve their customers and to keep their businesses up and running,” PayPal CEO, Dan Schulman said in a statement. “We are providing ways for them to not just accept payments but to digitize their operations. Our integration with Ritual and this proactive program with the City of Los Angeles allows us to serve local restaurants in a new way – helping these businesses and their communities to thrive in an uncertain time.”

This isn’t the first time Ritual has partnered with a major city this year to help support local businesses that may be struggling due to the pandemic. In May, the company teamed up with the City of Toronto (Ritual is Toronto-based) to offer small, local businesses access to Ritual ONE for free, for life. The partnership was part of the city’s ShopHERE program, which helped businesses who did not already have strong digital presences to make the transition to online retail.

The company has a long history of municipal partnerships in Toronto that precedes the pandemic, too: when the city launched its King Street Pilot, a controversial program that shut down a stretch of busy King Street to car traffic, many local businesses worried it would put them in jeopardy. In response, Ritual launched Food is King, a program aimed at bringing new customers to those restaurants. The program was a huge success, with participating restaurants reporting a 707% increase in first-time Ritual customer visits during the first week of the campaign, and a 1,062% increase in the second week.

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