Colette Phillips is one of a handful of Boston’s go-to people for reaching businesses owned by people of color. She founded Colette Phillips Communications in 1986 and built a reputation in multicultural and diversity marketing, most recently helping develop the “All Inclusive Boston” campaign to increase tourism beyond downtown. In the last year she launched an online marketplace for minority-owned businesses and helped with a social impact fund to support local businesses. When Amazon launched its Black Business Accelerator this month, Phillips thought Amazon might reach out to collaborate on recruiting local businesses.
But neither Phillips nor other Black business advocates have heard from the e-commerce giant, and even while they think the idea is sound, not connecting with local businesspeople is a mistake on Amazon’s part, they say.