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Update: LocalBonus closed in 2013.

Our online review monitoring startup, ReviewTrackers, is featured as an SMB Future Star at the BIA/Kelsey SMB Digital Marketing 2012 conference this week in Chicago – along with other early-stage companies developing the next big digital marketing solution for small and medium-sized businesses.

Fellow SMB Future Star LocalBonus is making a lot of noise at the event, too. Founded in 2011 by CEO Derek Webster, LocalBonus lets consumers use their existing credit and debit cards to automatically earn cashback rewards at over 1,000 local businesses. Those merchants get an easy way to attract and retain customers with no deals or discounts, no POS integration, and no employee training. LocalBonus is currently headquartered in New York City with merchants all over the country.

Recently we got in touch with Derek, Manuella Odell (Community Manager), and the awesome people behind LocalBonus. Read on to find out what they had to say:

Tell us what your start-up is about.

LocalBonus allows you to use your existing credit or debit card to earn rewards from hundreds of local businesses. For merchants, we offer a great way to attract and retain customers without having to offer deals or discounts, and without having to set up and manage your own loyalty program. We are now live with over 1,000 merchants!

Where did the idea for LocalBonus come from?

Derek: When I was a management consultant, I traveled all the time for work and became really addicted to frequent flyer programs. You wouldn’t believe some of the crazy things I’ve done to earn miles. I founded LocalBonus to recreate that “secret sauce” of a loyalty program to make it more fun to shop at local businesses. We want to help local businesses and think there can be a better way than making consumers carry around a wallet full of those “buy 10, get 1 free” punch cards for every business.

From left to right: Manuela Odell, Community Manager; Derek Webster, CEO/Founder; Tim Saunders, CTO; Shaan Batra, Software Engineer.

How does LocalBonus help drive the success of SMBs and merchants?

LocalBonus brings new and returning customers to merchants in our network. We also provide marketing for our merchants through our blog, social media platforms, and e-mail newsletters.

What SMB problem/challenge is LocalBonus hoping to solve?

Local businesses want new customers and they want their customers to come more frequently. We give them a turnkey way to attract and retain customers without any deals or discounts, POS integration, or employee training.

Where and how can we connect with LocalBonus?

Follow LocalBonus on Twitter

Stay tuned for more updates! Just click on the #SMBDigital tag on the RT blog to read about what’s happening with ReviewTrackers in Chicago. You can also follow us on Twitter via @ReviewTrackers or read our tweets tagged with #SMBDigital.

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.