Website offers online deals to consumers, local stores

By By Sushen Thiyagarajan Breaking Stories Online Editor

Local businesses may be considered more expensive than big chains, but, Groupon.com, a new, fast-growing website, might change those notions.
Owned by The Point Inc., a company that helps raise money for campaigns and fundraisers, Groupon aims to help consumers enjoy many different activities in the D.C. metropolitan area for a reduced price while offering local businesses a chance to stand out from big chains. Groupon offers discounts on everything, ranging from discounted Wolf Trap shows to dinner at II Canale in downtown D.C.
“Some really cool deals on Groupon are hot-air balloon rides and kayaking on the Potomac,” junior Joey Kale said.
Kale and many others students use Groupon because of the new deals it provides daily.
“CHS students can get really awesome prices on fun activities with their friends that they otherwise couldn’t afford,” Kale said.
The way Groupon works is if a minimum number of people sign up for an offer, the deal becomes available to everyone. If the requirement is not met, no one receives the deal and buyers are reimbursed.
Doreen Moriera, who runs a medical practice in Cabin John, recently started using Groupon for her business after she purchased some coupons herself and saw the potential for her own business to grow.
“I’ve gotten a number of new patients [in] my practice,” Moriera said. “Some came for the one visit their Groupon purchase provided [and] some will stay on as patients.”
Some businesses also offer Groupon customers separate privileges.
According to its website, Jack’s Boathouse in Georgetown offers special kayaking tours to Groupon customers because they receive so much of their business through the website.
Groupon has also opened up in many populated cities like Chicago, Seattle and New York.
“The company is continually opening up new markets around the country,” Moreira said. “But Washington D.C. was one of the early ones, so Groupon is pretty well established here.”