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Posted on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 12:39 p.m.

Ann Arbor Chamber launching iPhone app to boost local businesses

By Nathan Bomey

The Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce is set to introduce an iPhone application to boost the local business community.

The free application, developed by Ann Arbor-based firms The Whole Brain Group and Arbormoon Software, is targeted at chamber members but will be available to the public.

The application, to be released in November, offers a quick way to find chamber member companies that are offering deals to other chamber members and their employees. It also provides a quick way for all users to get addresses, phone numbers and Web sites for participating local companies.

“We want to show that we understand technology,” said Megan Crosbie, marketing coordinator for the Ann Arbor Chamber. “We’re not your grandfather’s chamber.”

The application, introduced today at the weekly Lunch Ann Arbor Marketing (LA2M) meeting, comes as the Ann Arbor technology community is plunging quickly into smart phone application development.

Dave Koziol, principle software engineer for Arbormoon, said the application took about five weeks to develop. He declined to discuss the costs associated with the development, though chamber officials said Blue Cross Blue Shield was a sponsor.

Bonnie Valentine, director of business development and consulting for The Whole Brain Group, said the application also could offer a needed boost to the retail community during the holiday shopping season.

About 100 chamber members have agreed to offer deals through the application, which still needs to get approval from Apple to be distributed through the iTunes Store. A demo is available here.

Chamber officials hope to get 300 companies to participate by the time the application is available to the public.

"You can see what businesses are offering discounts and then you can use them," Crosbie said.

Contact’s Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter.



Fri, Nov 20, 2009 : 11:45 a.m.

I'm not a chamber member and I downloaded the app and I still get discounts from a few businesses. I wonder if they're making an app for the Blackberry or the new Droid phones.


Thu, Oct 29, 2009 : 1:29 p.m.

This app is awesome! What a great way for local businesses to do some innovative advertising for the x-mas season FOR FREE! AND it gives back to chamber members via the discounts... SMART idea A2Chamber =)


Thu, Oct 29, 2009 : 7 a.m.

Sadly, iPhones do not support flash apps. To the reader who's company provided iPhone could not see the demo. - you are not alone.

Marvin Face

Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 7:34 p.m.

My iPhone is supplied by the company I work for so there are some things I can't view. In this case, I cant view the flash presentation on the iphone telling me about the iphone app. Is this a problem with anyone else?

Janelle Baranowski

Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 3:17 p.m.

So if you're not a chamber member or employed by a chamber member, you're not eligible for the discounts? - If that is the case, they should consider letting anyone get the discounts, since the goal is to increase members' business and visibility. -

Nathan Bomey

Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 3 p.m.

Jennifer, thanks for the comment! Yes, that's true. I added a line to make sure it's clear.

Megan Crosbie

Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 2:55 p.m.

Thank you to our m2m iPhone app sponsor, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Blue Care Network!

Jennifer Coleman

Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 2:54 p.m.

m2m discounts are not just available to chamber members. They're also available to ALL employees of chamber members.


Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 2:26 p.m.

As a chamber member I'm excited about the increased visibility this will give to my company!


Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 1:48 p.m.

Smart idea. I hope it helps local businesses. Anything in this economy that can bring in new customers is a real positive.

Megan Crosbie

Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 1:09 p.m.

It is important to note that Chamber members may participate in the m2m discount program for FREE - offering and using the discounts is part of your membership with the Chamber!