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'Uber of snow removal' app arrives in Northwest Indiana
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'Uber of snow removal' app arrives in Northwest Indiana

From the ICYMI: Here are the most-read stories from the past week series
'Uber of snow removal ' app arrives in Northwest Indiana

A plow truck removes snow on Harrison Street in Merrillville.

GreenPal, an app that purports to be the "Uber of snow removal and lawn services," has rolled out in Northwest Indiana.

The Nashville, Tennessee-based company connects snowplow drivers, snow shovelers and landscapers to homeowners in more than 200 major markets in 46 states. The on-demand snow removal and lawn mowing services is now available in Hammond, Highland, Gary, Merrillville, Whiting and within a 15- to 20-mile radius of those Lake County cities.

GreenPal co-founder Gene Caballero said the service was particularly well-suited to social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

"GreenPal's technology allows vendors to bid on lawns without having to visit the property and talk face to face with the homeowner," Caballero said. "Historically, this industry has been a cash business. GreenPal eliminates the need to meet for payment and use cash that has been scientifically proven to spread not only germs but also COVID-19. Over 30% of GreenPal customers are over the age of 60. That demographic is the most susceptible to contracting COVID-19 and falling fatally ill from it."

The 8-year-old tech startup has signed up more than 1 million homeowners nationwide, linking them up with more than pre-screened 20,000 landscaping and snow removal professionals, who bid on properties based on the address, size of property and other factors. Customers can hire a contractor based on the bid, ratings and reviews, while paying and setting up more appointments via the app.

Customers can see quotes and schedule next-day service via the app or website. The app, which can be downloaded for free via Google Play or Apple's App Store, also can be used to find contractors to salt and sand driveways and clear sidewalks, which is required by some municipalities in Northwest Indiana.

The service already has been available in Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and other major markets.

“After successfully launching in 200 other markets, we are excited to help homeowners in Hammond find reliable, safe and local snow removal,” Caballero said.

For more information, visit yourgreenpal.com or call 1-866-798-4485.

Region restaurants that closed in 2020

Region restaurants that closed in 2020

2020 has been a hard year for restaurants in the Region with the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns and restrictions that followed. Here's a look at the restaurants, brewpubs and chain eateries Northwest Indiana lost in one of the toughest years in recent memory:

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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