Black founders are uniting to spotlight businesses in Harlem throughout Black Business Month.
In conversation with Lawrence Phillips, founder of Green Book Global, he revealed why he has teamed up with founders Anthony Edwards (EatOkra) and Marvin Johnson (Dashible).
With Phillips’ efforts to empower Black travelers globally, the partnership is a reflection of a similar desire, starting first with restaurants in Harlem, NY.
Harlem Restaurants Will Be Featured In Video Campaign And City Guide
The tech platforms will leverage social media and pool their resources to feature the restaurants by creating video campaigns. In addition, the founders will place Harlem restaurants in a city guide under EatOkra — a platform connecting consumers with Black food — that can be found using Google Maps.
The purpose is to revive the consumer interest in Harlem restaurants and rewrite the effects of COVID 19. As AfroTech previously told you, the pandemic has negatively impacted Black-owned businesses leading to shutdowns or restricted services.
“With EatOkra and Dashible, we will amplify seven Black-owned restaurants in Harlem as part of Black Business Month. We’re going to use our social media platforms to amplify these restaurants. With COVID, a lot of restaurants are surviving. We want to get to the point where they’re thriving again,” Phillips told AfroTech.
He continued: “These aren’t even the most well-known Black-owned restaurants in Harlem, but that’s more of the reason why we want to push them. You have staples like Red Rooster, Sylvia’s, and Melba’s Restaurant, but at the end of the day, they typically have good publicity and they’ve made it through COVID. It’s smaller businesses that are still trying to get their footing.”
Lawrence Hopes Efforts Will Scale To Other Cities
These efforts are only the beginning as Harlem is simply the stepping stone to a broader effort that could scale to other cities including Brooklyn, Detroit, and Atlanta.
“We don’t have a roadmap as far as how we plan to integrate in the future, but I’m sure there’s like possibilities for that. The idea is, if we’re doing this in Harlem, we can do this in Brooklyn, we can do this in Atlanta, we can do this in Detroit. Right. I think that will also be beneficial because if this works as our pilot, then we have a really good method to help amplify Black-owned restaurants, even outside Black Business Month. We can do maybe 80 per year because ideally, I want this to grow and have a larger impact,” Philips said.