Updated Nov. 27:
A Plainfield woman said her newest business venture will let you shop local, save money — and give back to the community.
At a time when most people are looking to save a buck or two, Heather Heavens is launching Spealo.com, aimed at offering special deals of 50 to 90 percent off from local merchants.
The concept is similar to deal sites like Groupon or Living Social, Heavens said, but with a local focus and one big difference: You don’t have to wait for other shoppers to scoop up a deal before you can snag it for yourself.
“The main difference with Spealo versus Living Social or Groupon is there’s no group deal,” Heavens said, explaining there won’t be a minimum number of buyers required to make a deal valid. “Once you click to purchase, it’s yours.”
Spealo, which launches Dec. 4, will also stay local, focusing on businesses in Plainfield, Joliet and Naperville.
“Because these deal websites have gotten so big, there are sometimes 700 pages of deals,” Heavens said. On Spealo.com, there will be a featured “Special Deal” each day, plus other offers from local businesses.
“It’s up to the merchant how they want to set up their promotions,” she said, adding she has partnered with Deal Current to provide customer service to clients.
“I’ll be working with the merchant to have a successful campaign,” she said, adding businesses will get paid within 48 hours after deals are purchased.
Heavens is no stranger to the Plainfield business community. She’s active with the Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce and in charge of marketing for TMZ Plumbing.
She also helps promote area businesses and non-profits, working extensively with organizations like the Plainfield Riverfront Foundation, through her company, Plainfield Promotions.
Her work with non-profits — not to mention growing up in a home with foster brothers and sisters — is the inspiration for another feature on the deals website.
Schools and local not-for-profit organizations will be able to partner with Spealo.com and local businesses for fundraisers, with a portion of each purchase going toward a good cause.
“We’ll allow the schools a place to fundraise so kids don’t have to go door to door,” Heavens said.
Deal-hunters will also have the option of designating a portion of each Spealo.com purchase to the charity of their choice.
“Fifty-cents of every deal will go back to a charity,” Heavens said, adding there will be a drop-down menu on the checkout screen allowing shoppers to choose a local non-profit.
Plainfield-area merchants will also be able to offer coupons on Spealo.com.
“It’ll be similar to what’s offered in a Super Saver,” Heavens explained.
Getting on board
While the deals aren’t live yet — expect the site to launch Dec. 4, Heavens said — you can subscribe at Spealo.com to get email updates on the Special Deal of the day. Shoppers who sign up will also be entered in a drawing to win a $200 Visa gift card, and customers who share the site with friends on Facebook or Twitter have the chance to win a $50 Best Buy card.
The site isn’t the only way to learn about Plainfield-area deals: Fans of the website’s Facebook page can get the inside scoop on upcoming Special Deals and featured money-savers.
The first featured Plainfield business will also be announced on Facebook, Heavens said.
Businesses and non-profits looking to offer promotions and fundraisers through Spealo.com can contact Heavens at GetOnBoard@spealo.com.