Shop Alabaster app goes live

Published 11:51 am Tuesday, March 26, 2013

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Alabaster residents can now use their smartphones to find businesses in the city in dozens of categories, as the city recently launched its Buy Alabaster First app on iOS and Android operating systems.

The Buy Alabaster First app. (Contributed)

The Buy Alabaster First app. (Contributed)

The free app allows residents to view information about Alabaster businesses in categories ranging from restaurants and entertainment to construction and gas stations.

In addition to listings by category, the app also allows residents to view businesses near their current location and search for businesses by name.

Basic information is listed in the app for every business registered in Alabaster, and business owners are able to input additional information on their listing for free. Businesses can also use the app to advertise specials, run coupons and post job openings, said Alabaster City Manager George Henry.

Henry said the app is designed to help Alabaster residents keep their tax dollars in the city, and said it helps business owners with marketing.

“Supporting the local businesses and stakeholders is a priority of this administration,” Henry said. “The mayor and City Council hope this tool will be used to its maximum extent to further strengthen the community.”

The app currently displays the city’s Twitter feed, and Henry said it soon will be updated to include direct links to the Alabaster Fire Department, Police Department and the Parks and Recreation Department.

Alabaster nonprofit organizations can also use the app to create “micro sites,” which will appear on app searches.

To download the free app, search “Buy Alabaster First” in the iOS app store and in the Android GooglePlay store. Business owners can claim their businesses by clicking on the “Shop” button on the bottom of the app’s home screen.