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
National

Actor Tracy Morgan wasn't wearing seatbelt in June…

By Jonathan Stempel(Reuters) - Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and others in his limousine were not wearing seat belts when their vehicle was struck by…

National

Connected cars: Is AT&T leaving Verizon in its…

By Marina Lopes and Bernie WoodallWASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) - Verizon Communications, the No.1 U.S. wireless carrier known for its widespread coverage, is falling behind its biggest…

Local

Grand jury begins hearing evidence in Eric Garner…

A grand jury began hearing evidence Monday relating to the death of Eric Garner while in police custody in July. Garner, 43, of Staten Island,…

Local

Mayor announces plan for solar panels at city…

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the planned installation of 24 new solar panels at city schools on Monday morning. The panels, a $28 million investment,…

Going Out

Taste what Lower Manhattan is cooking at today's…

The Lower Manhattan food scene has changed a lot in three years, which you can taste first hand when the neighborhood's food festival returns. On…

Television

Review: 'Selfie' tries to coast on the charm…

"Selfie" offers cute leads and some good jokes, but focuses too much on a vague distaste for social media.

Movies

Review: Jason Reitman's 'Men, Women & Children' is…

Jason Reitman's "Men, Women & Children" takes a hysterical and melodramatic look at disconnection in the digital age, turning strong actors into zombies.

Television

TV watch list, Monday, Sept. 29: 'Castle,' 'Mom'…

Tune in for the season premieres of "Castle," "Mom" and "NCIS: Los Angeles."

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

MLB

Joe Girardi not confident David Robertson will return…

David Robertson was as seamless as anyone could be replacing Mariano Rivera as he converted 39 saves, with a 3.08 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony preaches patience with new coach, offense

While star forward Carmelo Anthony said he’s “enthusiastic” and “optimistic” for the upcoming season, he still wants everyone — from within the locker room and…

Education

How to ace your private school interview

Getting ready for a private school interview can be daunting for many, most of whom might never have been in an interview situation before. We’ve…

Education

5 questions parents should ask while visiting private…

It can be hard to know what to look for when searching for a new school for your child. Parents considering several different schools can…

Education

3 ways to save money on college application…

With the average high school student applying to 5 or 6 schools, hefty application and test score fees can add up quickly. We’ve compiled some…

Education

Nap rooms: The latest college campus trend

College is a time filled with new experiences (and lots of schoolwork), leaving little time for students to get a good night’s rest. University of…