Atlanta Data Firm Launches Marketplace That Tracks Black Spending On Businesses and Political Campaigns
A new website is helping consumers see minority and Black spending in different lanes, Atlanta News First reports. After finding that Black consumers spend $1.7 trillion, Atlanta-based data firm FotM Global, Inc. created a way to track Black spending to help close the racial wealth gap and provide more power for the community.
Our Money United is a Black business and voter marketplace built to search for companies and candidates based on different criteria, including race, religion, ethnicity, and LGBTQ+ views. The custom search can go as deep as finding companies that take a stance on pro-life vs. pro-choice and gun control.
Currently on a six-month pilot run in Atlanta, the website has only been active for a few weeks. Founder and CEO Charles Walker Jr. and his team keep track of the data before launching it in other states. The platform has already garnered a partnership with the Atlanta Black Chamber, the National Action Network, and the Rice Center to help identify local businesses who want to join in.
Walker, Jr. says the website can change the game for customers. “You change the dynamics,” he said.
“Corporations spend tons of money with lobbyists, and they impact policy. If we used our money to support companies that supported us, then we could change the world.”
More and more Black business leaders are taking it upon themselves to keep track of who and what major corporations are spending with the Black community. In July 2020, Kezia M. Williams, CEO of The Black upStart, started My Black Receipt, encouraging customers to spend money with Black businesses and upload purchase receipts, according to Because of Them We Can. With the goal to help “quantify how Black consumers and allies buy from Black-owned businesses as a collective,” the company exceeded its goal of uploading more than 18,000 receipts.
The next step for FotM is partnering with Reach TV in hopes of running campaigns on televisions housed in over 90 airports across the U.S. Walker says this is a major step toward getting the platform focused on Black spending to the community.
“We have the credibility, and now we’re talking to the community,” he said.
“We’re giving them an opportunity to be heard by using their dollars. To vote with their wallets, period. That’s the only change we have.”