The quick and dirty run-down
Aside from the obvious, what comes to mind when you want to support Black and minority-owned businesses in a meaningful way that has a long-lasting effect?
This is what we think:
Build a list ⇒ to create a map ⇒ to identify hot spots ⇒ address any real or perceived safety issues ⇒ buy an old bus ⇒ convert the bus into a comfortable ride ⇒ create a bus route that connects neighborhood people to those hotspots.
Oh, and commission an app to connect neighborhood people. Which will connect them to the businesses, and gamify the shopping experience.
I’m sure you have other ideas. Together we’re sure to be crazy enough to make it a reality!
But in the meantime, won’t you provide funds to get things started? We’re starting in York, PA but with your funds, we will test out these ideas and refine them so it can be duplicated elsewhere too!
The longer, but just as important stuff
Communities thrive when we provide residents support to use their skills and passions to empower themselves. A large part of empowerment is a strong economy that allows money to flow within a neighborhood, and the ability to accumulate wealth. This is in large part done by Black and minority businesses who set up shop many times in areas that others will not. In this time of reconciling the injustices done to our Black brothers and sisters, it is important that we support those business owners, but in a way that is both meaningful and long-lasting.
The Epic Neighborhood Fund has 3 main components:
1. Fund projects that are meaningful to neighborhoods
2. Fund initiatives that support Black and minority-owned businesses
3. Provide microfinancing to local Black and minority-owned businesses
We are starting in our backyard or York City, PA, well, because this is where we live. But we believe what we do here can be replicated in other places.
The Epic Neighborhood App
York XL will commission a mobile app that will be used by community members and organizations alike to track community needs, measurements, milestones, and resources; communicate directly with community members; generate data that will guide programs and initiatives. The app will allow Black and minority-owned businesses to provide coupons and discounts directly to neighborhood users of the app. Also, the app will support these businesses by creating scavenger hunts, contests, and neighborhood passports.
“beSEEN” a public safety project
Our partner Concept Living LLC (www.conceptliving.org) has created beSEEN to put power in the hands of neighborhood residents and small business owners by allowing them the opportunity to protect their businesses, homes, and families from property-related, and violent crimes. The project will provide safety surveillance equipment and professional installation services to participating businesses.
The EPIC Bus
The EPIC Bus will be a converted bus that connects York City neighborhood residents with the Black and minority-owned business clusters. It will also connect residents with other key existing public transportation stops, as well as health clinics, government offices, and social services locations.
Inside the bus, we will have seats. But what if we add a boardroom (to facilitate community meetings), wifi, and spaces for social service agencies to provide health checks, classes, and distribute things like food and medical supplies? And why not add the ability to store gardening tools, cleaning tools, and snow shovels?
Get how we think now?
Now, help us with a donation!