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Imagine having access to the more than 1.9 million black-owned businesses in the United States at your fingertips? A company called Around The Way, which is based in New York, teamed up with Washington, D.C.-based mobile-app development firm Clearly Innovative to create a mobile app that will locate black-owned businesses in your area.

The companies say they hope the Around The Way app will support and empower black-owned businesses, especially around this all-important Christmas shopping season. The app, which is available only for the Apple iPhone right now,can be downloaded from the Apple app store.

While the app doesn’t have all of the black-owned businesses in the U.S. yet, it does contain a substantial number and there’s a spot on the app’s website where you can add your business. “The app can locate 17,000 black-owned businesses in all 50 states. Many of the businesses are located in New York City, and other major metropolitan areas,” Eric Hamilton, chief marketing officer and co-founder of Around The Way wrote in an e-mail to The NorthStar News & Analysis.

To increase the number of black-owned businesses in the database, Around The Way is partnering with the New York African American Chamber of Commerce and other black chambers to encourage owners to download the app. By doing this, owners can encourage users to patronize their businesses.

“Around The Way’s sole purpose is to empower black-owned businesses by altering the point of purchase of potential customers… This newly available mobile application allows users to find the closest black-owned business in their vicinity with colorful maps and pinned locations,” Around The Way officials told The NorthStar News & Analysis. “Users can choose from nine-different categories of businesses to locate.” They are: ATM/Bank, Auto, Bakery/Café, Beauty Parlor/Barber Shop, Club/ Lounge, Laundry/Dry Cleaners, Lodging, Restaurants and Shopping.

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