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Economy

Akron Launches New App to Support Local Businesses

A photo of the blimp
AKRONITE
Through the new Akronite app, participants can earn blimps that can be used for purchases in Akron.

An Akron business owner is optimistic about the potential impact of a new app being launched by the city to support local businesses. 
 
Called the Akronite, the app aims to increase community engagement and connect residents with local retailers. It incentivizes “Akronites” to shop locally with a rewards system that features a blimp. Blimps can then be used for purchases in Akron.  
 
Charlie Somtrakool, who owns Cilantro Thai and Sushi in downtown Akron, hopes the app can help him rebound from the pandemic and ongoing construction projects in downtown Akron. 
“It’s really a lot of rewards to be getting back to the user at low costs, and I like that the business is actually not losing anything, because the city actual subsidize those discounts.”

 
Somtrakool says business has started to pick back up with dine in customers, and he hopes the app will bring in new ones.  
 
The city partnered with tech company Colu to design the app.