News / Edmonton

Edmonton entrepreneurs use apps to solve winter's worst chore

Too lazy or busy to shovel your driveway? There are apps for that.

Terry Song and Sheldon Zhang have created SnowTapp, which they say will allow users to order snow shoveling services on demand.

Kevin Tuong/For Metro

Terry Song and Sheldon Zhang have created SnowTapp, which they say will allow users to order snow shoveling services on demand.

Terry Song and an associate are launching a snow removal app to revolutionize how Edmonton residents cope with winter.

Song and Sheldon Zhang are in the trial phase of SnowTapp, which will allow customers to order on-demand snow shoveling services.

“This model has been proved in many other businesses, so we can use this model and apply it to the snow shoveling business,” said Song, who left his job as a mechanical engineer to create the start-up.

“People have all kinds of needs—some people don’t want to order every time.”

Current snow shoveling services are mostly contract-based, either monthly or per snowfall.

SnowTapp, alternatively, offers “flexibility” for those days you feel lazy or get too busy to shovel.

But some, who have worked in the snow removal for years, suspect SnowTapp’s requirement that providers have an active business license and a minimum of $1,000,000 in General Liability insurance and WCB insurance will prevent many from joining.

According to Troy Courtoreille, community standards acting director for the City of Edmonton, snow removal providers require a business licences to do a “notable” amount of snow removal at “multiple addresses.”

However, according to several long-time shovelers Metro spoke to, many work without them.

Wayne Tomalty has been shoveling and subcontracting for the past 18-years. He has a business licence and insurance, but suspects the requirements from the app are “going to keep people from participating.”

But, he said the app will be “super” for small businesses like his.

The free SnowTapp app will officially launch on November 30.

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