In a time when supporting local businesses is more critical than ever, the city of Long Beach took a significant step forward in November by introducing the Shop Long Beach app. This citywide initiative not only celebrates entrepreneurship but also aims to provide a lifeline for small business owners struggling with financial challenges.

The Shop Long Beach initiative offers a platform for small business owners to connect with their customers on a deeper level by providing exclusive rewards and incentives.

DW Ferrell is the visionary behind this endeavor. With his app called Localight, Ferrell’s mission to give back to the community is deeply ingrained in his upbringing. From watching his father open their spare bedroom to unhoused individuals — to helping people in Compton learn tech before the rise of the internet, Ferrell has never wavered from his determination to use technology to empower people.

On this episode of “The Word with Jackie Rae” podcast, Ferrell explains how his unique background and understanding of systemic racism have allowed him to use his tech powers for good.

If you are a small business owner who would like to join the Shop Long Beach initiative or, if you are a customer who would like to start earning rewards at local businesses, you can download the Localight app or visit the website here.