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Students urged to buy, save locally

Ohio State students can now receive specialty cards this school year, which will provide them with discounts at local Columbus businesses, through a program with the Small Business Beanstalk (SBB).

In partnership with the Undergraduate Student Government and other OSU organizations, the SBB has taken its original Columbus discount card and made one customized for OSU students.

SBB is a Columbus-based company that works with small businesses to connect local businesses with the consumer. The company provides discounts and promotions through the use of its SBB card. If a company signs up with the SBB, consumers simply have to show the card and receive the discount.

“What we’ve done is worked out large specific deals for events and concerts that are uniquely, specifically to the SBB Buckeye card,” said Tim Starr, founder of the SBB.

While it can vary from case to case, it typically costs around $300–$500 a year for a business to be a part of the SBB program, according to Starr.

With this card, students can receive discounts on food, clothes, events, concert tickets and other services and items.

Late Night Slice is one of the 400 businesses taking part in the program. The restaurant gives a free Faygo drink with the purchase of two slices of pizza.

The cards will first be distributed to students during welcome week, and it started with Monday’s Student Involvement Fair. Cards will also be distributed today at Buck-i-Frenzy. Additional distribution may occur during other events throughout the school year.

Students will also be able to sign up to receive the card from the SBB Facebook page.

Newport Music Hall, another SBB partner, will occasionally offer “buy one, get one free” deals on tickets for select shows.

“It’s important to follow us on Facebook to know when to get those deals,” Starr said.

This week’s launch includes about 35,000 cards, Starr said. He said they hope to get a card out to every student in the next few weeks.

Jacob Bradley, a second-year in public affairs and member of the Undergraduate Student Government, said he thinks the card is great because it is free and easy for everyone to use.

“It’s extremely easy to receive the discounts and it encourages students to explore Columbus,” Bradley said.

Starr said one of the best aspects of the card is that it saves college students money at places they already visit and places they should visit.

“Being able to find great deals and programs are great for everyone,” Starr said. “It connects them with the central Ohio community. We want to expose them to local businesses and neighborhoods.”

As an active committee member for USG, Bradley is a part of what the SBB calls the “SBB Buckeyes.” This group of students includes organizations such as the Business Builders Club and the Graduate Student Organization. They, among other local organizations, are the primary sponsors behind the card’s development and distribution.

“They’re the experts, they know how to work with the students because they represent the students,” Starr said.

Nils Root, a fifth-year in business finance, is the former president of the Business Builders Club. Root founded Frosh Tees, a business that makes college-specific shirts for more than 370 different college cities. SBB Buckeye cardholders will have access to free shipping on the company’s website.

“The cards are great because it connects local brands,” Root said. “It gives them power that they don’t have. It’s a great thing for local companies.”

Starr said that Columbus has “a lot of wonderful jewels and gems” and because OSU students make up such a large population of the city, they should be able to get out there and get to know their surroundings.

“For them not to see areas like Grandview and Gahanna and others, there are some major benefits to exploring good local businesses and good local neighborhoods as well,” Starr said.

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