Mayor Byron Brown, AT&T and The Exchange at Beverly Gray announced HyperLink Buffalo Powered by AT&T, a new initiative that forms partnerships between local ad agencies and minority-owned small businesses in the City of Buffalo to help close the digital divide.
“During the height of COVID-19, many brick-and-mortar businesses pivoted to online sales while others were forced to shut down. Even as brick-and-mortar stores have reopened post-vaccine, there remains an increased number of consumers buying products and services online,” Brown said. “Unfortunately, there are some small businesses that did not have the resources to establish new revenue streams from e-commerce. HyperLink Buffalo Powered by AT&T aims to ensure that every business in every part of this community has equal access to online streams of income.”
The goal of HyperLink Buffalo Powered by AT&T is for local ad agencies to assist minority-owned small businesses in creating a strong online presence and e-commerce capabilities. Advertising and marketing agency partners are asked to provide pro-bono services to participating minority-owned businesses, to include social media promotion, digital adverting, website design or redesign, e-commerce development, and search engine optimization. AT&T has contributed $15,000 toward this initiative to assist with required costs associated with running an online marketplace, apart from the free services donated by local ad agencies.
The City of Buffalo has developed a survey for minority-owned businesses to help identify their digital needs in the current marketplace. Those minority-owned businesses that complete the survey will have an opportunity to be matched with a local ad agency partner to improve their online presence. Businesses who wish to take the survey can visit www.buffalony.gov/hyperlinkbuffalo.
Brown said, “I am calling on local marketing and advertising agencies to join us in making HyperLink Buffalo Powered by AT&T a success. I see HyperLink Buffalo Powered by AT&T as a major initiative to help strengthen the minority small business community in the City of Buffalo and contribute to building strong communities through equal opportunity.”
“AT&T is honored to collaborate on this program as it aligns with our company’s longstanding commitment to working with and assisting Black-owned and other diverse businesses to achieve economic success and our dedication to digital equity,” said Benjamin Roberts, director of public affairs for AT&T. “As a company connecting people and businesses for more than 140 years, we are thrilled to help many amazing locally owned businesses in the Queen City enhance their digital presence, connectivity and e-commerce capabilities to unlock their full sales potentials. I applaud Mayor Brown, the City of Buffalo, and The Exchange at the Beverly Gray Center for their vision and hard work in establishing HyperLink Buffalo Powered by AT&T.”
There have already been 11 local advertising agencies that have signed on to volunteer their services toward this initiative. So far, participating advertising agencies are as follows:
•Mr. Smith Agency
•Covington Associates Consulting
•Hourglass Media LLC
•Telesco Creative Group