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New Go In Grand Rapids app designed to help smartphone users connect to unique neighborhood businesses

The Neighborhood Business Alliance has created The Go In Grand Rapids smartphone app as the 21st century way to reach everyone - from customer to curious - who want a simple yet cutting edge way to discover what each and every Grand Rapids neighborhood business district has to offer.
Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids /Neighborhood Ventures

Underwriting support from:
GoIn Grand Rapids App

GoIn Grand Rapids App /Neighborhood Ventures

There’s something special happening in Grand Rapids neighborhoods. We know it, our neighbors know it and visitors can feel it too. Our vibrant neighborhoods are jam packed with excitement. But with so many new businesses opening and so much activity going on, it’s easy to overlook some really great experiences.

Place is that thing that nobody can explain but everyone loves the feeling when they get there. The ways we make place has to match the behaviors of our people. We are a technology driven community and there’s no reason we can’t add to the placemaking experience by tapping into the devices that drive our daily routines.

The Neighborhood Business Alliance has created the Go In Grand Rapids smartphone app as the 21st century way to reach everyone - from customer to curious - who want a simple yet cutting edge way to discover what each and every Grand Rapids neighborhood business district has to offer. More than an online brochure, this tool informs users of the unique characteristics, charm and businesses across the city of Grand Rapids.

The Neighborhood Business Alliance (NBA) works to promote business and educate about each of the 20 neighborhood business districts across the city. In early 2014 businesses started to ask us if we had heard about the various apps that existed to promote businesses or helped the public find restaurants, bars and shops. This got us thinking that the NBA could create an open platform that would allow all businesses the opportunity to reach consumers with a mobile app. By researching, we realized that existing apps were based on customer reviews or charged businesses a fee to participate. Go In Grand Rapids was designed as a way for every business, as long as they have an on-line Google presence, to be accessible by smartphone users. We contracted with Grand Apps, a local app development company, to make this happen- and it grew from there.

People use their cell phones for everything. It’s noticeable standing in an elevator, walking down the street or sitting in a café that we are generally more connected to the device in our hand rather than the space around us. The Go In app brings the public space right to the screen of the mobile device being used. If a Go In user is utilizing the location services in the app they can get notified when they physically enter one of the 20 neighborhood business districts. “Welcome to the WestSide” could pop across the top of the phone when a driver crosses Bridge Street and that would link the user to a brief paragraph about the neighborhood they are entering. As a commuter drives along Wealthy Street, “Good Morning from Eastown, stop and have breakfas,” could be the scrolling message of the day. If we aren’t looking out café windows, or watching as we stroll down the sidewalk, we have to take the message to the screen and bring the neighborhood into the 21st century.

For example, I was driving home from Lansing with a group of friends and we were hungry for pizza. We had just had a great time at a basketball game and wanted to sit down and enjoy a bite to eat. Each of us quickly buried our heads in our cell phones and searched for be the best options along our route home. Most of the search engines required a zip code or were solely based on our current location; none of them could tell us what pizza options we had closer to Grand Rapids. The idea is we knew where we were going but we didn’t know what we would find when we got there. This app allows people who know their destination to have the ability to search out what types of businesses they will encounter when they get there, and then link to their specific Google profile.

Available for both of the iPhone and Android platforms users will know which neighborhood they are in via location services and they will always know what products and services are just around the corner by pulling up to date neighborhood business information directly from online business profiles. Beyond simple mapping, Go In also allows small businesses or neighborhood business districts the option to proactively connect with customers via push notifications for special events, sales and promotions. Get out and Go In Grand Rapids. It’s what’s on the street.

Are you a business in Grand Rapids? – All businesses on Google are visible on the app

The technology behind the Go In Grand Rapids app is quite simple. The user is matched up with the public information of those small businesses that are in closest proximity. If your small business is already online or actively utilizing social media and your full profile is complete and up to date, you’re all set and need not doing anything else. If you’re not on the app make sure the Google profile for your business is accurate and up-to-date.

The Neighborhood Business Alliance hopes to showcase each and every business that has made the commitment to Grand Rapids neighborhoods in order to represent just how great our city is. Make sure your business has the best exposure possible by getting on Google today. Visit and search for your business to see if it appears on Google Search and Maps.

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