Finding Black-owned businesses to patronize this holiday season just became that much easier, thanks to a new mobile app.
Digital platform Official Black Wall Street, founded by entrepreneur Mandy Bowman back in 2015, launched its highly-anticipated app earlier this month, providing consumers with the largest global directory of black-owned businesses right at their fingertips. The app, where social impact meets technology, notifies shoppers when they pass a minority-owned store and even garners special offers for spending at their favorite Black businesses.
Bowman said she hopes her platform gives nonwhite businesses the exposure they deserve and encourages Black shoppers to keep their coins circulating within the Black community.
“I believe it’s due time for us to make a conscious effort to buy Black,” Bowman said in a statement. “We’ve heard the stats that we have a $1.2 trillion dollar buying power, yet a dollar only stays in our community for 6 hours whereas in Jewish and Asian communities, their dollar circulates for 20 days and a month, respectively.”
“With our current political state, it’s becoming more evident that supporting Black-owned businesses will allow us to vote with our dollars while strengthening the local economy in the Black community,” she added.
The OBWS app allows users to search and discover thousands of Black-owned businesses near them and features directions, reviews and photos for more than 100 businesses. The unique platform mainly highlights brick-and-mortar stores, but includes listings for online businesses as well. Plus, there’s a two–way messaging system to connect Black businesses with their customers.
What if you’re a Black entrepreneur yourself? The new platform allows business owners to create listings for their own establishment with a single click. Consumers can also submit free listings for businesses they’d like to see featured on the app.
“I believe the OBWS app is our first major step to creating a wealthier and stronger Black community,” Bowman said. “We’ve gotten feedback from so many Black business owners who saw positive effects from listing their business on our web-based platform.”
“We’re excited to see the app take things to the next level,” she continued.
The Official Black Wall Street app is currently available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play for free.