ORLANDO –The city of Orlando’s efforts to get people in buy products and services and their own back yard – the so-called Buy Local Orlando campaign – went high tech on Monday, when Mayor Buddy Dyer announced during the City Council meeting that the Buy Local Orlando smart phone application is now available for download in the Apple iTunes Store.
The City Beautiful, he said, is now in the age of high technology.
“I have some exciting news to share,” Dyer said. “A free Buy Local Orlando smart phone application is available now.”
The overall campaign was launched in 2009 as part of the City’s Strengthen Orlando initiative. The goal of Buy Local Orlando is to connect Orlando’s businesses with the buying power of residents, and it encourages the program’s merchant members to offer special discounts to consumers who visit their shop with the free Buy Local Orlando consumer card in hand.
Now those consumers can get those discounts even if they left their card at home. They can redeem any special offers at participating businesses using the free smart phone application, which provides GPS-driven merchant information, including discounts, to mobile users.
“There’s a bunch of cool stuff on there, and I’d encourage you to go get it,” Dyer said.
Just a few weeks before the phone app was launched, Orlando also put up a new website at buylocalorlando.com, which lets consumers find participating businesses by category and neighborhood.
“Buy Local Orlando connects consumers with our city’s businesses to promote a thriving, economically viable, close-knit community,” the site notes. “Unlike other discount services, all Buy Local Orlando vendors are certified City of Orlando businesses and receive 100 percent of revenue generated from sales through the program – so you can rest assured that the money you spend with them directly contributes to our local economy.”
The new mobile application will feature alerts and geolocation features to make it easy to find participating businesses offering special discounts.
“We are excited that these program additions will further enhance local spending and make it easier for Orlando consumers to support our City’s businesses when shopping for goods and services, especially this holiday season,” Dyer said.
City Councilor Robert F. Stuart agreed that a key to the city’s economic success would be convincing residents to shop where they live.
“That’s the core of what we want people to do, is buy here,” Stuart said.
Councilor Daisy Lyman said buying local helps businesses find customers, and helps create jobs as well.
“I believe the city of Orlando has done more for jobs than our state,” she said. “We have been the most effective workforce agency in the state of Florida. We are head and shoulders above the state in terms of doing what is right.”
City merchants can become members of the Buy Local Orlando campaign by logging on to the website at http://www.buylocalorlando.com/. The annual membership fee is $99.
The Android version of the app will be launched in a few weeks. Consumers without a smart phone will still be able to support the program and take advantage of any special offers or discounts by using the free Buy Local Orlando consumer cards, which can be printed off the website.
Contact us at FreelineOrlando@Gmail.com.