Tomorrow, in conjunction with the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, the Baltimore Avenue Business Association (BABA) will launch its new website, babawestphilly.org—a first for the member organization that has promoted and supported local business along the Baltimore Avenue corridor for the last few decades.
BABA’s new website will feature a list of known businesses within its boundaries (Baltimore Avenue between 40th and 52nd streets, plus one block north and south), a calendar of events, special promotions, a member-maintained blog, and local business and community news. The website, made possible through grants from The Enterprise Center and Local Initiative Support Corporation, was created by BABA members and will feature BABA’s new member-designed brand and logo.
According to BABA member and neighborhood organizer Algernong Allen, the website was launched in an effort to “enhance our digital presence, better marketing of the Baltimore Avenue corridor, and connect customers with the diverse range of local businesses we have to offer.” “The Baltimore Avenue Business Association will be able to highlight the wonderful energy taking place in West Philly from a commercial perspective,” Allen told West Philly Local.
The Baltimore Avenue Business Association underwent a revival six years ago thanks to the effort of a small group within the organization that focused on cementing BABA as a presence in the community, Vincent Whittacre, owner of the Gold Standard Café on 48th Street and Baltimore Avenue, told West Philly Local. In those intervening years, he said, the association held group meetings as well as business and community meetings to address local concerns, like parking and outdoor table licenses.
The new website, though, will take that work to the next level and further increase the visibility of the organization, which, he said, is “at the point of really formalizing itself.”As part of this effort, the Baltimore Avenue Business Association will distribute information during tomorrow’s Dollar Stroll and introduce BABA-branded shopping bags printed with a roll call of founding and new members.
While details have to be finalized, Whittacre said BABA is working on organizing a week in January where all member businesses offer promotions, a “Baltimore Bucks” customer rewards for people shopping on Baltimore Avenue, a mentorship program for high school youth interested in business, sponsorship of the Cedar Park Jazz Series, and possible shredding event in conjunction with Philadelphia Federal Credit Union on 50th Street and Baltimore Avenue.
“We want people to think of BABA as a vital and active part of our neighborhood,” Whittacre said. “At the same time, [we want to] be able to provide information about Baltimore Avenue and what a great place it is.”