As originally published here.

At their core, communities are about people. We all want to spend time with friends, be around families, and meet new people with similar interests. In many ways, brick-and-mortar establishments facilitate those interactions by giving us the spaces and occasions to be together.

At GetUpside, we’re doing three things to help build stronger local communities. We use data to (1) give people more spending power, (2) earn merchants more profit, and (3) make the impact of business more sustainable. Of these three important community-strengthening tools, what excites me most is empowering the people — customers and merchants — that live in our communities. It’s a direct impact you can see and feel.

Making Business Personal

Growing up, I was supported by a hard-working family, I went to schools where people prioritize their education, I dedicated myself to my work, and I was free to choose what I wanted to do with my life. I’m lucky. Not everyone finds themselves in that position. That’s why it’s so meaningful to make each dollar go further on the products and services we buy every day. GetUpside gives us all a bit more flexibility than we had before. It allows us to save, to do things for our families, and to do things for ourselves. Extra money in our pockets can go toward books for school, provide relief until the next paycheck, or bring us joy with an experience at, say, the spa.

To be clear, GetUpside isn’t about giving away money to customers. It’s about the incremental growth and societal benefit that comes from each transaction. Using GetUpside, customers have about two million dollars more to spend per month, and merchants have earned one-and-a-half million dollars more in profit per month. In total, we’ve provided over $25 million in value into our communities. Our concept is beneficial to both customer and merchant (read my co-founder, Alex Kinnier’s article to learn more). We work with both to ensure each customer gets more value, and that each merchant is able to grow their business.

What does this have to do with sustainability? Happier customers and healthier businesses make commerce in general more efficient. When there’s more efficiency, there’s less waste. Plus, keeping money in the local economy only makes neighborhoods more vibrant.

Our Team, Our Community

On a personal level, our team is glad to be part of the community that helps communities. On a professional level, it’s fulfilling to be able to work on something we can touch, that our families can use, and that our neighbors understand.

Even within our GetUpside offices there is a communal spirit. On any given day there is way more to do than we have people to do it. When someone needs extra support, everyone swarms to help get the job done. No job is beneath a person. We’re one team.

This company — like our communities — comes down to people. None of us has built this business before, so we work together to discover how we can learn as quickly as possible and help our company grow. As we continue to work towards empowering people and the communities they live in, we hope you’ll be interested in working with us.