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Buy Springfield campaign adds app

Chamber targets smart phone users with new shopping tool for Clark County.

A new Buy Springfield smart phone app will make it easier to connect residents with local businesses in Clark County, supporters said.

The free SpringfieldOH2Go app, developed by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, will be available on Monday on the iTunes and Android markets. The app will have its official launch Sept. 6.

The app will provide smart phone users with access to exclusive deals and coupons and up-to-the-minute event information.

“We want this to be valuable to the community,” said Chamber president and CEO Mike McDorman.

The app also provides tools such as a category search, a “near me” business map and a bar code scanner, among others.

For $100 spent at a locally-owned business in Clark County, approximately $68 stays in the economy. Per $100 spent at a national chain, approximately $43 stays in the county.

“The community is going to benefit from this app,” said Eric Sirons, the chamber’s membership director and coupon committee member.

Sunny Dhingra, a launch committee member, said resident participation is critical in order for businesses to continue to keep adding deals to the app.

“If community members don’t take advantage of the deals, these guys don’t want to put out the good deals,” Dhingra said. “If they don’t put out the good deals, there’s no advantage. It’s up for everyone for participation.”

This week, anyone who downloads the app will be registered in a drawing for a pair of tickets to the sold-out Vince Gill concert at 8 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Clark State Performing Arts Center. The tickets will also include a meet and greet, subject to the artist’s approval.

Smart phone users can text “GSCOC” to 80802 to have the app sent to their phone via text message.

McDorman said other chambers around the country developed apps in recent years but only provided basic details such as membership information and events.

“They really didn’t do anything other than that, so they were disappointed with how they were being used,” McDorman said.

The chamber decided to implement an app that can benefit both chamber members and the public. Last year, the chamber formed committees and also used pilot groups to help develop the app. They’re hoping to have as many as 30 exclusive coupons when the app officially launches on Sept. 6.

“It accomplishes what we want with a Buy Local campaign,” McDorman said.

Members will have the flexibility to put deals on the app immediately for free, and then take them off as they please. They can also limit the number of coupons on the app. Users will also have the ability to find updated coupons through alerts and notifications.

“It’s going to be very valuable from the consumer’s standpoint,” Sirons said.

The app cost about $6,000, including start-up costs and maintenance. While other chambers have struggled to develop apps, McDorman believes Springfield’s app can be the model for chamber apps.

“We all win if this is valuable to the community,” McDorman said. “We feel these deals will drive people to the app.”

The app will be constantly changing, Dhingra said, and more features will be added in coming months.

“It’s dynamic,” Dhingra said.

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