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The Black Lives Matter movement is teaming up with New York-based ad agency J. Walter Thompson to create a nationwide Google Maps-based website to show shoppers where to find small businesses and restaurants owned by African-Americans. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)

The Black Lives Matter movement is teaming up with New York-based ad agency J. Walter Thompson to create a nationwide Google Maps-based website to show shoppers where to find small businesses and restaurants owned by African-Americans.

In a statement, Black Lives Matter says it wants BackingBlackBusiness.com to become “the biggest and most easily accessible black businesses database in the country.”

So far the directory has over 300 black-owned businesses listed. According to the U.S Census Bureau, there are an estimated 2.6 million black-owned businesses in the nation — and Black Lives Matter hopes to have its map reflect that number by the end of 2017.

In a statement, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors said black-owned business are a needed “staple” in the black community.

“Black-owned business have long been a staple in the black community, providing jobs, economic security and a somewhere for us to go and feel seen and safe. In these uncertain times, we need these places more than ever,” Cullors said.

“Our hope is to reduce the racial disparity that exists in economic well-being through the promotion of black business ownership,” Brent Choi, J. Walter Thompson’s chief creative officer, said in a statement announcing the partnership with Black Lives Matter.

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