Where is Northside?
While that question may seem odd to some, according to Northside Business Association
(NBA) member James Heller-Jackson, it is posed more often than many would think. That's why he and a team of Northside residents are working to create an app to answer all questions about Northside.
The app idea started after the NBA sent out a survey via social media to gain information about perceptions of Northside. The survey garnered nearly 1,000 responses from people citywide. Results revealed what kinds of questions an app needed to answer.
Each year, the NBA budgets $3,000 to create a brochure to encourage local businesses to join its ranks, but this year, the group is investing in the app instead. It will give basic information, like locations of businesses, upcoming events and places to park. Pictures of each business will be included, and business owners will be able to update their pages to include specials, events and coupons. For example, Picnic and Pantry could feature a discount good only if you have just shopped at the Northside Farmers' Market.
"We want to have a resource for people to find out everything they want," Heller-Jackson says. "If people feel comfortable, they know where to park and simple things like that, they are more likely to come visit Northside."
The app will roll out a couple weeks before the annual Rock 'n Roll Carnival Northside hosts in Hoffner Park on July 3-4. It will be available on iPhone only at first, but an Android version should be available in August.
"Northside is kind of this open secret," Heller-Jackson says. "We want people to know we are here and open for business. Yes, Northside has had a rough reputation in the past, so people have chosen not to come here. But there are so many good things going on here now there is no reason for someone to avoid Northside."
By Evan Wallis