Bainbridge Bucks, Zimple Money new solutions for uncertain times By Kevin Dwyer,21 May 2020
Bainbridge entrepreneur Steve Rabago thinks outside the box. He owns a company, Zimple Money, that essentially is a better financial mousetrap for individuals, families, and businesses trying to keep track of loans, billings, payments, and collections.
A few years back, he purchased a building at the Day Road Industrial Park and converted it into his “Big Art Studio,” where more than a dozen artists – including himself – ply their crafts and display their works.
Rabago is an aspiring stonecutter and has produced a number of interesting works.
His latest venture is in response to how Covid-19 has affected the way local businesses interface with their customers and each other.
It’s called Bainbridge Bucks.
Rabago says the web site (Bainbridgebucks.com) goes beyond the Kitsap Sun and USA Today’s “Support Local” effort by focusing more on Bainbridge Island and by providing businesses with more opportunity to promote their products and services.
The relatively simple web site includes a homepage and pull down bars featuring retailers, service providers, art, professions, personal and travel services and more.
“It’s basically a tool set that (businesses) can use to grow and market themselves,” says Rabago. “Any business (on island or off island) can join.” Besides providing gift cards, which is Support Local’s major thrust, Rabago says Bainbridge Bucks allows customers to do more with businesses, such as make appointments or purchase services.
He also sees the opportunity, through his site, for retailers, as an example, “to create pre-packaged deals” for people to purchase items and, perhaps down the road, to use it as a barter exchange between businesses.
In true entrepreneurial fashion, Rabago says, “My initial idea was to throw it (the idea) out there and see what it looks like … and then let someone else run with it.”
He envisions another business entity – like the Chamber of Commerce or Downtown Association – eventually taking it over. To date, Bainbridge Bucks has about a dozen businesses using its site.
Meanwhile, Rabago’s Zimple Money (zimplemoney.com) is humming along, chalking up about 22 percent in annual growth in the past year.
“It’s basically a loan accounting system a top a payment tool,” he explains. “It sends a bill, processes the payment, applies the payment to the interest fee and distributes the money to your checking account. … You could have a thousand different loans in your portfolio if you wanted to. ”
Rebago sees Zimple Money as a “very versatile tool” for businesses in the age of the Coronavirus. Check it out at: zimplemoney.com.
Kevin Dwyer & Associates
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