Looking towards the Future
The lack of support of African-American owned businesses and tools dedicated to their growth led me to create the Black Pages and Black Expo many years ago. We did so with the hope of producing, printing and distributing a publication in the various markets that would create a noticeable paradigm shift. Our goal quite frankly was to get at least 10% of the market to make conscious and deliberate decisions to support minority owned businesses that advertised with us and to increase that number annually by another 5-10%. Our challenge was ensuring that our message and publication reached critical mass to create a measurable yet significant paradigm shift. More copies of the publication equaled more consumers making decisions regarding our advertisers.
Much has changed in the 28 years since we started publishing the Black Pages; the rise of the Internet, the decline of major periodicals, the proliferation of digital marketing – but our goal has not. While our mission to educate, empower and enlighten has remained the same, our strategy has shifted. Committed to innovating and serving our clients and the community, we stepped into the digital world through our mobile app. This move allows us to increase the ease of access to African-American owned businesses for our customers and access to consumers for our advertisers. Going digital gives us better opportunities to extend our mission, reach critical mass and create much needed changes in the market.
"We recognized in 1990 what remains the same today, in order to support the businesses in our community; you must know where to find them first!
When we support businesses through the publication, website or mobile app, we do so to the benefit of generations to come. We must simply bear this in mind: when we do not support these businesses and they fail, we have no one to blame but ourselves. We recognized in 1990 what remains the same today, in order to support the businesses in our community; you must know where to find them first!
-Darrin Thomas, President