City partners with UA students to launch app for new business ow - Tucson News Now

City partners with UA students to launch app for new business owners

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The city of Tucson is working with a group of University of Arizona students to launch a new app that would help those interested in starting a new restaurant.

Chris Kaselemis, Program Director of Economic Initiatives for the city of Tucson said the app would be a treasure trove of information for those who had questions about how to get started with the process of opening up shop.

Right now his department had five people who answered calls relating to new business opportunities.  The app would put all the information in one place for those who opted to use their smart phones instead of having to make that phone call, or wait for a call back.

"It's a great way to get the information when you want it.  It's also a great way to develop new businesses here in Tucson and help our local economy," said Kaselemis.

Juan Francisco Padres, a former restaurant owner was all too familiar with the challenges of starting a new business said the app was a great tool for those who simply wanted information on how to get started.

"When you're opening up a business or have never been in business for yourself everything is a question.  From what do I do, to do I lease or buy, what are the permits involved, there's a lot to find out," said Padres.

The students are expected to develop the app by next month.  It will then be handed over to city programmers to perfect and launch.  The city has seen success with several other apps that are already in the Play store of Androids and Smart Phones.

The graffiti removal app had been a great hit with Tucson residents.  Lupe Mercado, an area manager with Graffiti Protective Coatings, a company hired by the city to clean up publicly owned tagged areas said the app had 2000 subscribers to date.

"It's working.  We've cleaned up 10,000 tagged walls in the city in the last three years thanks to this app," said Mercado.

The My-Waste app launched by the City of Tucson Environmental Services was seeing a slower start.  1,600 subscribers had downloaded the app since last August.

So far they had received 7 reports of illegal dumping, and 18 reports of stray shopping carts according to Public Information Officer Christina Polsgrove.

The app also helped users look up trash collection days and recycling locations based on their neighborhood.

The city also had apps to report potholes, abandoned cars, and find out about events taking place at the Tucson Convention Center.

To download the apps you can find check out the city's website at:  http://www.tucsonaz.gov/info/apps

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