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The Utah Black Pages: Podium and Utah Black Chamber release directory for Black-owned businesses

The Utah Black Chamber and Podium launched the Utah Black Pages on Wednesday.

(Utah Black Chamber)


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LEHI — In an effort to support Black-owned businesses, Utah customer interaction platform Podium and the Utah Black Chamber have partnered to create the Utah Black Pages, a directory of Black-owned businesses in the state.

“Building resources that help support Black-owned businesses has been the central focus of the Utah Black Chamber since we first began,” said James Jackson III, founder of the Utah Black Chamber. “We are grateful for Podium’s support and are proud to partner with them to create this central webpage, which will offer people across the state an easy place to find Black(-owned) businesses and support them by purchasing their products and services.”

The hope is that the new site, utahblackpages.com, will help Utahns find Black-owned businesses, as well as lead to connecting and networking opportunities.

For Eric Rea, CEO and co-founder of Podium, the last few weeks have been a time of reflection. Podium connects businesses with their customers. Their multitool suite includes customer messaging, mobile payments, web chat, online reviews and customer feedback using messaging channels. If you message enough companies online, chances are you'll use a Podium widget.

With that expertise, Rea figured Podium could help Black-owned businesses reach more customers.

“We are at a point in history that requires all of us to rise up and confront injustice, and remaining silent just isn’t an option,” Rea told KSL.com. “We knew we had to do more. As a company, we help local businesses get found and chosen.”

Podium’s BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) resource group asked the Utah Black Chamber how they could use their tech to help Black-owned businesses. It was the chamber that suggested creating a user-friendly database.

The Utah Black Chamber and the Black Lives Matter Utah Chapter both have kept a running directory of Black-owned businesses through the years. The new site simply combines those efforts.

“We believe that it is crucial to support Black-owned businesses and Black business owners,” said Lex Scott, founder of Black Lives Matter Utah. “We are appreciative of Podium and the Utah Black Chamber for this opportunity to expand the database of Black-owned businesses and to help these business owners gain new opportunities, as well as potential increases in revenue.”

Rea is hopeful the directory will help build the type of community that he and his company want to be part of — one that is inclusive and supportive of everyone.

“When we support Utah Black-owned businesses, we are supporting the Utah Black community,” Rea said. “A lot of times, these businesses serve as the cornerstones of the foundation of a welcoming, healthy and diverse community. In order for everyone to feel comfortable and at home in Utah, this part of the local economy needs to be supported.”

He also hopes that the list will contribute to the closing of the wealth gap in the state as it brings support to Black entrepreneurs.

“We have a unique opportunity in this window of time to make real change,” Rea said. “In order to make that happen, it is going to take all of us finding an area we can own and lift. We are experts in modernizing the way business happens locally, so we figured: Who else could be able to contribute here more than us? We were honored to be able to contribute in a meaningful way.”

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