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Excerpt originally posted on: DBusiness By Tim Keenan and R.J. King -November 25, 2020

Southwest Detroit Business Association Announces Program to Help Small Business Owners
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Southwest Detroit Business Association has announced a program to help small business owners bridge the digital divide by shifting to an e-commerce platform. The new “Shop Southwest Detroit” E-Commerce Initiative, which is supported by Bank of America, will help local small businesses maintain a digital presence to reach current and new customers via an online megastore.

“This new, exciting initiative will accelerate the evolution of small business models in our community to offer a more effective online marketing and customer experience,” says Robert Dewaelsche, president of the SDBA. “When successful, participating businesses will be able to rebuild lost connections with their customers while attracting new patrons to purchase their products and services online. Thanks to the generous support by Bank of America, we will help local businesses be more profitable despite being faced with the ongoing economic challenges caused by the pandemic.”

Participants in the first cohort, which includes up to 25 local businesses, will each receive their own dedicated online page(s) that feature products and/or services on the “Shop Southwest Detroit” e-commerce platform.

Customers will be able to make purchases online that will integrate directly into an existing or new Point of Sale (POS) system for each participating business. The initiative also will be supported by retargeting integration and social media campaigns to help build awareness and drive customers to the platform. “Shop Southwest Detroit” will officially launch to customers on Friday via

“Bank of America is committed to assisting small business owners address economic challenges and help fuel growth,” says Matt Elliott, Michigan market president, Bank of America. “Our support of the Southwest Detroit Business Association and its Shop Southwest Detroit E-Commerce Initiative will generate new opportunities to advance local businesses by helping them cross the digital divide and creating new, online destinations for their customers. This program is a win-win for the community and for our work at Bank of America.”

The list of participating businesses includes: All About Technology; Alvarez Designs; Antojitos El Catracho Restaurant; El ArteSano Juice & Café Bar; Detroit Forever 313; ESI Hardware Store; Hacienda Mexican Foods; Joyeria Panchos; La Jaliciense Supermercado & Taqueria; La Palapa del Parian; La Posada; La Terraza; London Consulting; Los Altos Restaurant; Lotus Essences; Neveria Guadalajara; Quince Primaveras; SDBA Gift Shop; Sicily’s Pizzeria & Subs; TS Designs; and Xochi’s Gift Shop.

The SDBA annually serves more than 300 businesses and entrepreneurs representing restaurants and other food service providers, retailers, health care, manufacturing and human services industries. The businesses in the Southwest Detroit service area are often immigrant-owned as well as minority- and women-owned enterprises.

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