New app helping local businesses recover from COVID-19

Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 5:41 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A new app is helping Eastern Iowa businesses that have taken a hit because of COVID-19.

City PERK$ was co-founded by Matt Roling, a mobile app developer in Cedar Rapids. The app is an online rewards program that gives customers access to discounts at more than 25 local businesses and restaurants in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. It costs $20 per year to join and includes a variety of shops and services, from dog walkers to bars.

The app is free for businesses to join, and restaurants like Fong’s Pizza said it’s a great way for them to get more customers without having to develop a program by themselves. Elizabeth Goodsman, general manager of Fong’s, said business is still slow after reopening, and the app is a welcome help to get customers in the door.

“It should help out a lot of restaurants, have more people come out. Give it a shot,” Goodsman said. “Everyone’s a little bit hurting for money right now, we all understand that, so this gives them an opportunity to order stuff with discounts.”

Roling is also using the app as a way to give back to the community. He says a portion of each subscription will be donated to a local charity, starting with Green Square Meals, a local evening meals program.

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