New Web site touts local deals

The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is offering a new perk to its members—and hopefully a boon to cash-strapped consumers looking for deals.

Value added: SaveinAsheville.com is the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce’s attempt not only to help member merchants but to give consumers ways to save in a tight economy.

A new chamber Web site, www.saveinasheville.com, gives Chamber members the opportunity to list coupons for substantial savings for a range of goods and services. Launched nearly a month ago, the site is beginning to gain traction among members and consumers looking to save a buck, a Chamber official says.

“We just wanted to create an opportunity for our members to get their values up in front of the community in an easier way,” says Ben VanCamp the Chamber’s director of communications. “We’ve always had the ability for members to post coupons within our Web site, but we’ve never put them on one giant list like this before. It didn’t take a whole lot of effort to do, and we thought it would be a great opportunity for the community to save some money and support our chamber members and local businesses.”

And while posting on the site is only available to chamber members, a key requirement is that the deals really are deals, VanCamp says. “We just ask that they’re significant values, not like a dollar off of something.”

The site is easy to navigate. One link takes users directly to a coupons page, while another enables people to search for a coupon by business name.

The site already has at least 54 coupons available, including discounts, special rates and freebies for a host of goods and services ranging from entertainment and hospitality to business and consulting services, among many other categories.

“It’s a tough time for businesses as well as individuals right now,” VanCamp notes. “Everybody is working harder for their customers, but they can’t afford to give it away, too. So, I think people are finding good values [on the site]. I’ve been very pleased with the number of people that have posted. We started off with less than 10 coupons and now we have well over 50, so it’s definitely increasing at a pretty good rate.”

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