New App Connects NEA

By Kayce Wilson
Delta Digital News Service

JONESBORO – ConnectNEA’s mission allows local small- and medium-sized businesses to connect with the Northeast Arkansas community.

Kent Wilson

Kent Wilson owns and markets ConnectNEA, which reaches across the Northeast Arkansas Delta. The application mirrors Village Vesl, which runs in some major cities in America. Wilson said seeing the app take off excites him.

“Once it begins to grow, the social aspect will begin to multiply among itself. It grows really fast, I think it will have a really nice impact on Northeast Arkansas,” Wilson said. “The flags that businesses will post will reach the NEA users in ways they couldn’t before.”

The app, available on iTunes or Google Play, allows businesses to post multiple geoflags at their chosen locations, which could include coupons or advertisements. Wilson said when a ConnectNEA user passes by a geoflag, their phone will “wake up” and show them the discount or ad posted at that location.

“People will be shopping at stores that they may not have known existed until now,” Wilson said.

Nonprofit organizations can also partner with the app. During each month, ConnectNEA users can vote for nonprofits they would like to see receive donations from the money the app has made.

The app also shows where construction is taking place in the area. NEA Parking Lot Maintenance keeps users updated with where they are doing renovations in the area.

Bono resident Whitney Welch said this should really help to bring together all kinds of businesses.

“I haven’t heard about this until just now, but I think it sounds great! I’m excited to know information about traffic or construction before I leave the house,” Welch said. “I feel like since technology is such a big part of our lives now, this app will only help things to improve.”

Since the app launched in October, very few businesses have created accounts. A “New Member November” contest encouraged users to invite friends to be entered into a contest to win a gift certificate.

Arkansas State University student Jazmin Selvy said this app will be a big help in Jonesboro.

“Since it’s a college town, I feel like everybody will benefit from this once they hear about it. I’m definitely going to be looking out for discounts and sales while I can,” Selvy said.

Wilson said a big reason he wanted to bring ConnectNEA to Northeast Arkansas was that he didn’t like hearing about people taking trips to Little Rock or Memphis for things that are already in this region.