Forgive the cliche, but there really is no better way to put this: It's like Uber, but for snow removal.
SnoHub connects plows and shovels with the people who need them through a smartphone app that looks and feels much like ridesharing apps. Pick a location, pick the services, see the price and order away.
"We're happy to introduce our app to the folks of Duluth," SnoHub CEO James Albis said as the unrelenting snow continued to blanket the Twin Ports on Thursday. "Because of the intensity of the snow, it's very important for us to be there."
The benefit to customers is clear, but Albis said the app also opens up snow removal jobs to anyone who wants them.
"You could be a college student out with your shovel, or take your snow blower around the neighborhood," he said. "The industry is pretty fragmented and not really efficient. For an existing snow plow guy, or someone trying to get in there to earn a little extra money, now they don't have to worry about the idiosyncrasies of finding customers and marketing."
Albis has pushed the app from its birthplace in the Northeast across the Midwest and into the Rockies and now has about 30,000 customers.
SnoHub takes 30 percent of each transaction, with the remaining 70 percent going to contractors.
The cost changes based on the amount of work requested.
Clearing up to 50 feet of walkways and 30 feet of sidewalk in one order would cost about $41 after tax at a Lincoln Park address. Up to 100 feet each of walkway, sidewalk and driveway, without salt, was estimated at $88.87.
"The reception has gone quite well in other markets," Albis said as he watched orders going out in snowstruck Denver and Minneapolis, "and we'd expect the same in Duluth."