One of the complaints lodged against black-owned businesses is they are difficult to locate. A free application aims to solve that dilemma. “Around the Way,” available in Apple and Android app markets, uses a phone’s internal GPS to locate black-owned establishments within a five-mile radius.
The app is the first release from New York-based tech startup, Around the Way, and an app development firm, Clearly Innovative and hopes to empower black business owners in the tumultuous economic climate. The US Census Bureau Survey of Black-Owned Businesses found 1.9 million black-owned establishments in 2007 and this number is consistently increasing.
Around the Way’s CEO, Janine Hausif, wants Around the Way to increase patronage at these businesses. “We want the app to be the ‘go-to’ app to locate black-owned businesses; meanwhile, empower business owners to keep them competitive in today’s economy,” she told Black Enterprise.
Around the Way has several popular features including step-by-step directions to the business and company profiles. Users can also share the information to the 17,000 businesses in the index through social media and email.
Hausif asserts the app is just the first venture for the burgeoning company. “We plan to use the model and success of this Around the Way to develop apps for other business communities— very similar to how Facebook started exclusively on one campus and expanded to other schools,” she said.
Black-owned businesses can’t thrive without our patronage. We have buying power that will exceed $1 trillion by 2015 according to “The State of the African-American Consumer” report; it’s time that we invest those monies in our communities. “Around the Way” is the first step.