PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There was a robust showing at City Hall Tuesday – for the announcement of a new community effort to drive customers to African American owned businesses throughout the city of Philadelphia.
Cherri Gregg from our sister station KYW Newsradio explains how the new discount card is supposed to work.
Some of the city’s most prominent leaders like music mogul Kenny Gamble, Enon Tabernacle Pastor Rev Alyn Waller and others within the Philadelphia Community of Leaders have joined forces to keep Black dollars in the Black community.
“It starts with economics,” Waller told a full house in City Hall’s Conversation Hall, “we can agree to buy Black- we can agree to take the extra step to find those individuals who come out of our community.”
“iBuyBlackCard,” a $10 card sold at iBuyBlack.org and in stores that link customers to Philadelphia’s Black-owned businesses while providing a 15 percent discount to member businesses. The goal – grow those businesses.
“Our philosophy is no customer is going to come out of our shop unhappy,” says Jude Arijaje, owner of Minute Man Press at Broad and Moore. The nine-year-old business has two locations and a warehouse where they provide professional printing for businesses.
Arijaje is an iBuyBlack card participant and says even a small boost could have a ripple effect.
“I’ve done the math if I have an additional 500 a every day, over a period I can hire two more people from the community,” he says.
“If African Americans were to just spend 9 percent of their money within their community, unemployment would be wiped out in our community,” says Michael Rashid of PCOL.
More jobs would result in less poverty all the with the waving of a $10 card.
Organizers say proceeds from the sale of the cards will go to a community collaborative run by PCOL, which will use the money to create African American focused arts and cultural events.
Philadelphia Community Of Leaders say they’ve sold 1000 cards and hope to sell 10,000 this year and 30,000 over three years.
For more on the iBuyBlackCard, go to iBuyBlack.org.