New small business program kicks off in Baton Rouge

EBR Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome (Source: WAFB)
EBR Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - In celebration of Small Business Week, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome kicked off a new program Friday to encourage people to shop locally.

Buy Baton Rouge, a program aimed at encouraging consumers to purchase goods and services from local businesses throughout the city-parish, was launched Friday.

The program is partnered with two local apps, sLocal and SellSwipe, which build the community by supporting education, promoting local businesses, and generating consumer savings. More than 175 businesses are on the sLocal app.

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of the local economy. They play a critical role in the vitality of our community and aid in uplifting the areas surrounding them," said Broome. "We want to encourage residents to buy local whenever possible and utilize these two home-grown apps to find great deals and discover local products."

Those using the app will get discounts from businesses who signed up. It will also give proceeds from purchases to schools in the parish. J.P. Kelly helped create the app, and he says a little will go a long way.

"If we can get 12 percent of those people who download the app and use it four times a month, this is the impact. Twenty-thousand dollars a month back to education. Here's the impact, that's money that could have been going to out of state corporations that's staying right here local," he said.

Kelly says businesses that are interested in signing up for the app will get the first two months free by using the promotional code "MayorBroomeSBI."

"By using our innovative technologies to embed ourselves within the community, SellSwipe will allow the next generation to form real relationships with local businesses, businesses who provide goods and services that locals might otherwise look elsewhere for," said David Facey, founder of SellSwipe. "Our mission is to contribute to a healthy local commerce ecosystem and make the term 'shop local' fun, engaging, and effective."

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