MANSFIELD, Ohio -- LocaLynx is trying to draw local interest. So, what better way than to run a contest strictly for area residents?Sara Steward downloaded the app, liked the Facebook page, and pocketed $500 for her trouble."We had more than 650 entries," said Shane Hostetler, co-founder of the business. "We've been working on this project or two years. We just launched Sept. 1 and we're trying to get the word out to Mansfield and branch out to other markets."LocaLynx is a free app created to make it easier and more convenient to shop locally. Taking off on the area's buy local mantra, Hostetler and co-founder Kevin Haring have already attracted more than 90 businesses to participate."The LocaLynx app was built to help locals build our community," Hostetler said. "It's more than just a statement asking people to "shop local," it's a tool that helps us actually do it. LocaLynx is an app that brings together local and value."Hostetler said there's a misconception that shopping locally is more expensive. Instead, he believes area consumers can simply download his app as a tool to help them find the best local deals from area businesses including restaurants, entertainment options, automotive, health and beauty, etc."We are gaining more users and businesses daily," Haring said.More than 90 local businesses can be found on the app, and the founders say LocaLynx is gaining 20 to 30 users each day, and 1 to 2 new businesses as well. In the past 30 days, the app has been downloaded 1,200 times."This is very unique in how it's put together," Hostetler said. "There's really not anything out there exactly like this. It puts a lot of local businesses in one place -- on your phone and at your fingertips."The company operates out of the Braintree Business Development Center. However, the Lexington-area partners are looking hoping to expand soon. Haring noted that LocaLynx 2.0 will launch in another month or so with more features."That's what's fun," Haring said. "You can mold or shape it in any direction you want."Hostetler said given the choice, most local consumers would prefer to buy from local businesses. Their app aims to move shoppers in that direction."We want to support our friends, neighbors and be a part of helping our community grow. But we only have so much time and so much money," Hostetler said. "We don't want to spend hours looking for that new local restaurant only to find that it's 30 minutes away."Companies pay a monthly fee to list their business coupons, sales or deals on LocaLynx. Consumers simply show the coupon on the phone to cash in on their savings."We hope to have more contests as we go along," Hostetler said.