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Posted - Oct. 26, 2011 at 1:34 p.m.

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This is Chris Redgrave for Zions Bank Speaking on Business.

Does this situation sound familiar? It's Saturday night, and you don't have plans. You're trying to figure out what to do and are wondering if there's a deal for some evening entertainment. What if you could log onto one website or check an app on your phone and find deals local businesses were offering that day?

This is exactly what Jon Parrish has done with his business, CityGro, spelled g-r-o, dot com. This is an innovative network that gives you access to deals from over 800 businesses from Cache County all the way to Utah County. These are real-time deals available to members for a limited time. The best part is that you can opt into which deals you want to receive. Or, if you're looking for a specific deal, you can always log into the network to see what's available.

Jon is smart to tap into the deal market. In a market where discretionary income is still limited, I think it's safe to say we're all on the lookout for a bargain. That's probably why 50 million Americans have signed up for a "daily deal" or "group coupon" sites in the last few years.

In meeting with Jon, I learned is different than daily deal sites in that these are real-time deals, meaning they're happening right now. This network provides a convenient gateway to match consumers who want deals with businesses offering them. It's also a convenient way to communicate messages to a large audience all at once. Local universities have caught the vision and are providing a free membership to all their students.

One of CityGro's vendors, a large grocery store, offers a free item every week but unless you're opted into their deals, you won't know what it is. In another instance, Jamba Juice in Logan was having a slow day, so they sent out a deal offering 50 percent off smoothies for that evening only, and 200 people came into the store. is like having a discount card for the whole community.

For Zions Bank, I'm Chris Redgrave, speaking on business.


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