As pandemic-related restrictions across Los Angeles, and most of the country, are finally being lifted, it has become more important than ever to help support local economies. In an effort to spur the recovery for L.A.-based businesses, Amazing Brands, a technology platform for small to medium-sized businesses, has launched Amaze, a new app for Android and iOS.
Built as a tool for local business owners to better tap into their immediate ecosystem, Amaze also allows locals to earn cash back and loyalty rewards for shopping at the app's featured restaurants, fitness studios, beauty salons, and more.
Created as a way to address the struggles that forced many businesses to close during the pandemic, Amaze hopes to "once again safely connect local businesses to local consumers and turn local spending into a source of pride for residents," Stephen George, L.A.-based CEO of Amazing Brands, tells UncoverLA. The small businesses that populate the vibrant and distinct neighborhoods all across Los Angeles are the true heartbeat of their communities and "the engine of the economy," added George, making it more important than ever to shop locally.
A founding member of online deals platform Groupon, George launched Amaze with a similar consumer-incentive approach, while ensuring that local business have a reliable platform to individually market themselves to their most important clientele, their neighbors. Offering businesses a $0 sign up and initial zero monthly fee, the app helps entrepreneurs biz owners pinpoint and achieve their main goals, from increasing brand awareness and online sales, to upping foot traffic and repeat customers. The value-based approach only requires payment from businesses once performance is proven, all of which is extensively tracked and transparently relayed through the app.
On the consumer end, Amaze already features 50 local businesses, including Hollywood's infamous Cheebo restaurant, the Fairfax District's Melrose Beauty Bar, soon-to-open cannabis dispensary Wonderbrett, indoor rowing studio Row House, and Carthay Circle cafe Stella Coffee. All of these businesses in particular are currently offering 8% cash back to customers through the app, which can easily be found on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Once you download the app and supply a preferred credit card or bank account, you can peruse local businesses and exclusive reward offerings, while ultimately accumulating monetary rewards within an in-app digital wallet. With cash back rewards typically ranging from 5 to 15% and additional non-cash rewards available for repeat customers, Amaze believes that funneling money back to the consumer, incentivizes them to continue to shop locally, strengthening their community and reinvigorating local economies.
Although currently L.A.-centric, Amaze has ambitious expansion plans, setting its sights on cities such as San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, and Austin. Through this national mindset and local approach, Amaze notes that their main objective is not the marketing capabilities for businesses or cash back promotions given to shoppers, but the ability to foster resiliency and a strong bond between local shops and neighborhood residents.