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Mixed Reviews for a Coupon Site

Joshua Davis Small businesses have had mixed reviews when it comes to Groupon, the online discount coupon provider. Atlas Cafe, 73 Second Avenue, uses Groupon as another way of advertising.

For a neighborhood with some of the highest concentrations of bars, restaurants and retail stores in New York, the East Village stands as a prime location for a coupon provider like Groupon.

“New York is a region that we continue to study intensively,” says Julie Mossler, a Groupon spokeswoman. “We handpick and curate the deals with the best businesses that are the most exciting or interesting in the area.”

But with questions being raised about Groupon’s business model, as well as complaints from some small business owners, The Local checked in with five East Village businesses to learn about their experiences with the coupon site.

While most business owners interviewed said that they saw an influx of customers, some voiced unhappiness with what they they saw as a lack of support by the site.

In response to situations in which a business owner was not completely satisfied with Groupon, Ms. Mossler said that Groupon attempts to work “extremely close” with merchants and describes their relationship as an “ongoing process.”

“It’s not like we sign you up, you run and that’s it,” she said. “You get an account representative who holds your hands through the process and gives you tools to help you take advantage of the feature.”
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