We were inspired to create BuyPOC when we were showing Tejas around Ottawa via Google Maps. We were sad to see that so many restaurants and small businesses were listed as "temporarily closed". We reflected on how BIPOC owned businesses are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and how we wanted to show our support. Additionally, we reflected on the homesickness people might be experiencing now, especially with travel restrictions. We believe that multicultural businesses could provide a sense of "home" to international students at this time.

What it does

BuyPOC gives users a comprehensive list of BIPOC owned businesses in Ottawa that they can support. It displays these locations on an interactive map that users can click on to find the websites, addresses, and country of origin of the products offered. Users can also filter the map based on the category of business they are searching for, such as restaurants or apparel. BuyPOC also allows for submissions of new businesses which will be displayed and featured on our map after a brief check.

How we built it

  • Python (Flask)
  • Leaflet.js API

Challenges we ran into

  • Implementing a mapping API that is compatible with Flask
  • Linking our Github to Heroku
  • Linking our Heroku App with a custom domain
  • Understanding browser caches to preview our local changes

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Our attitude when continuously troubleshooting through issues
  • Finding a meaningful purpose for our project
  • The functionality of our final product!

What we learned

  • How to use Flask to create a web-based app
  • How to use Pycharm as our IDE
  • How to use Heroku
  • How to configure DNS targets

What's next for BuyPOC

  • Expanding our geographical concentration and our list of businesses
  • Add option to filter by country of origin
  • Allowing for direct donations

P.S. If you know any BIPOC owned businesses, feel free to submit them here!

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