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Downtown Evanston this week received backing from Evanston’s Economic Development Committee for its funding request for next year. And it’s also celebrating receiving an award for its mobile shopping app from the International Downtown Association.

The budget backed by the EDC Wednesday night calls for Downtown Evanston to received at least $370,000 from the special service area tax imposed on downtown commercial properties. The city would also contribute $113,000 from general tax revenue. The city contribution could be reduced if tax receipts from the SSA are higher than anticipated.

The budget still requires approval of the full City Council.

The International Downtown Association gave Downtown Evanston a merit award for its Passport to Downtown Evanston mobile app at its annual conference last month,.

The mobile app helps build brand loyalty and drive sales through point-of-sale rewards and keeps consumers coming back with value-added punch card offers, specials and promotions, says Carolyn Dellutri, Downtown Evanston’s executive director,

Dellutri said the project also “reflects our partnership with Northwestern University.  This project started as a Kellogg class project in January 2011 that has now resulted into a new business called Livelocal.ly.”

She said Livelocal.ly co-founders Austin Asamoa-Tutu and Phil Dziedzic “are onto something that could revolutionize mobile marketing for small businesses. They generated a lot of buzz, and this was only their second year at IDA.”

“As a team, we have diverse backgrounds: business, software and design. We were able to combine those skills in Northwestern’s NUvention class, which was nationally ranked as one of the top entrepreneurial courses by Inc. Magazine in 2011, to launch a successful business and the result speaks for itself,” Dziedzic said.

Top: Ed Wolverton, the IDA award committee chair, and Downtown Evanston’s Carolyn Dellutri are flanked by Austin Asamoa-Tutu and Phil Dziedzic of LiveLocal.ly

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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