AKRON, Ohio — The city of Akron is celebrating a milestone moment. It just generated nearly $1.5 million in economic activity.
And it’s all thanks, in part, to a smartphone app that gives small businesses a second chance at success, the app is called "Akronite", and it rewards residents for shopping and eating local.
It’s bringing joy to both residents and business owners in the Rubber City who have had a rough go over the last couple of years due to the pandemic.
The Diamond Deli on South Main Street in the heart of downtown Akron is the definition of a family institution.
Chad Magilavy and his brother Brett recently took the reins after their father Chuck retired following 25 years of service providing fresh sandwiches, soups and sides to the Akron community each day.
“We have really good food. I’ll be honest with you. We’re great people. Family. So everyone here is super friendly and it’s just a nice atmosphere," Chad Magilavy, Co-Owner of Diamond Deli said.
Embracing change and always looking for a little boost, The Magilavy’s Diamond Deli jumped at the opportunity to participate in the Akronite app.
“The app rewards you the cashback and the cool thing for us, restaurants, it doesn’t cost us any money to partake," Magilavy said.
City of Akron Deputy Mayor for Integrated Development Sean Vollman says the city introduced the Akronite App during the spring of 2020 when many small businesses were hurting due to the pandemic.
"We wanted to figure out a way we could try to help boost local small businesses, get them back, you know, as best we can," Vollman said.
Two years later businesses and the App are thriving.
Dozens of local businesses are enrolled including coffee shops, pizza parlors, Thai restaurants and various bars and grilles.
There are also tabs with discounts for wellness, arts and entertainment.
The app tracks your location and is able to show you nearby spots where you can score deals.
News 5 told Kerryn Nicholls about the Akronite app, and he immediately downloaded it.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity just to get discounts on some of your favorite places," Nicholls said.
And if you’re not entirely sure if your favorite local business accepts the Akronite app, look no further than a sticker typically posted on the front door or on a front window.
The orange blimp sticker is fitting for the Rubber City and home of Goodyear.
Thousands of users are currently enrolled.
Magilavy says he’s grateful to be a part of it as he says small businesses, with true Rubber City roots are the heart of the city and need to be preserved for years to come.
“Everything else is mom-and-pop shops, family-owned, and it’s just so important to keep us down here. It keeps the Akron community moving," Magilavy said.
The Akronite app is 100 percent free to users. As soon as you sign up you get $5 in rewards. Various other offers occur over time.
For more info, click here: https://www.akronohio.gov/cms/site/4da2e2f2995a2c38/index.html.