New App Helps Locate Black-Owned Businesses

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    Allison Cross, co-owner of Boxcar Grocer on Peters Street said that her store registered with the Around the Way app about two months ago.  “Latinos and blacks are the most major consumers of shopping though mobile apps,” she said. “I’m excited about the potential to collaborate with other businesses also using the app.”

    Boxcar Grocer offers organic and natural foods and baked goods, so they plan to use some of the bakeries, health and beauty manufacturers, and related suppliers listed on Around the Way as suppliers for their store.

    Michael T. Hill, founder of the Atlanta Metro Black Chamber of Commerce, said that the Around the Way is an excellent tool to assist the black consumer in leveraging the $73 billion in buying power that they currently spend in other communities.

    “I think it’s a great start in terms of connecting with the African American consumer through technology,” he said.  “It’s very similar to the Be Locally tool that one of our members developed on our website www.ambccc.us, where it allows consumers to rate a positive experience that they’ve had with a local company.”

    At present, there are over 52,000 African-American owned companies in metro Atlanta.  It is hoped that that collaboration with the marketing team of Around the Way and the black chambers will increase the awareness of those companies in an effort to bring the black dollar back into the community.

    “We’ve looked for solutions in our schools, our churches, and at the government level for saving our community,” said Hill.  “Now, it’s time for our business community to step up.”

    Hill said that the Atlanta Metro Black Chamber of Commerce plans to officially launch the Around the Way app marketing plan to its 350 members in June during its music, technology, and entertainment roundtable series.

    (Photo: The Box Car Grocer is a popular hangout for healthy food lovers in Castleberry Hill and beyond. Photo by Vincent Christie)

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