Boston launches Main and Me app to funnel holiday shoppers into local stores

Main and Me app now available in Boston. Photo via Main and Me.
Main and Me app now available in Boston. Photo via Main and Me.

As the holiday shopping season gets into full swing, Boston is embarking on a new partnership with Main and Me, a provider of web and mobile technology dedicated to helping local, independent, brick-and-mortar businesses expand their customer base with its Pinterest-meets-Main-Street solution.

Holiday shoppers can now virtually window shop the city’s real-world goods and services from mainandme.com or on a mobile device.

“Social media has played a central role in helping small business owners expand their customer base, and this new tool will bring greater marketing power to our Main Streets districts,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and this partnership with Main and Me is another example of how Boston is helping local merchants access new technologies and better compete in a global economy.”

Main and Me Boston allows shoppers to visually discover the gifts and services available in the 20 Boston Main Streets districts before making an in-store purchase. City officials said the app, which also lets shoppers create a holiday wish list to share with family and friends, will help small businesses compete with big box stores and online retailers like Amazon.

“We are thrilled to partner with the City to show our collective support for small, locally-owned businesses in Boston,” said Mary Pat Akers, co-founder of Main and Me. “While Main and Me helps increase awareness of what local businesses offer during the holiday season, it is also a year-round solution that helps lay the groundwork for sustainable neighborhood businesses and commercial districts.”

The announcement came on Small Business Saturday, days after the city launched its annual Holidays on Main Streets campaign, designed to drive shoppers to Boston’s neighborhood commercial districts during the holiday season.

This year’s campaign includes a citywide contest for the best dressed Main Streets storefront window, dubbed Deck the Windows of Boston Main Streets, the winner of which will be recognized by Menino on December 19 at the winning business.

Menino visited Roslindale Village yesterday afternoon for its annual tree lighting and to celebrate Small Business Saturday, the nationwide campaign designed to spur business for small merchants during the holidays. Small businesses across Boston Main Streets districts are participating to raise awareness about the local shopping campaign, which falls on the weekend between two of the busiest shopping days of the year, an alternative to “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.

“Roslindale Village Main Street was created by Mayor Menino and was the catalyst to Boston creating the first citywide urban Main Streets program in the country, so today’s tree-lighting celebration is very nostalgic for all of us,” said Roslindale Village Main Street Board President Steve Gag. “The celebration of Small Business Saturday and the launch of Main and Me Boston right here in Roslindale are just the latest examples of how this community and Roslindale Village Main Street continue to find new and innovative ways to support our local merchants and our neighborhood.”

Boston is one of many cities across the country to have supported the American Express Small Business Saturday and “Shop Small” initiative, which has also received strong support from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Trust Main Street Center and is being highlighted in several other Main Street communities nationwide.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Local

Hate crime charge in attack on Sikh Columbia…

A man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly pulled the beard of a Sikh Columbia University professor as part…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.