Benefits of loyalty: Portland's Perka one of Fast Company's most innovative for 2013

It’s no secret that Portland has a coffee shop or two. And a ton of other craft artisans. So it only stands to reason that it would be home to a company pursuing technology to help independent baristas, barbers, restauranteurs, and other small merchants drag their loyalty programs into the 21st century.

That company is Perka. And what they’re doing is so innovative, Fast Company took notice. Perka has been named one of the top ten most innovative companies in the “local” category.

For appifying customer loyalty punch cards, and letting repeat customers finally throw away that grimy paper. Perka offers a multi-tier system, so small business owners can set up the first round (buy nine slices of pizza, get the tenth free) and then a second round (buy eight slices…) to reward super-loyal customers and make them feel like VIPs.

Which is impressive in its own right. But it gets even more impressive when you see who else is on the list: American Express, Target, Foursquare, and Yelp, among others.

For more, see Fast Company’s most innovative companies for 2013. For more on the company, visit Perka.