Mark Zuckerberg visits St. Louis to launch new Facebook initiati -

Mark Zuckerberg visits St. Louis to launch new Facebook initiative

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Mark Zuckerberg was in St. Louis to launch new Facebook initiative Thursday. Credit: Facebook Mark Zuckerberg was in St. Louis to launch new Facebook initiative Thursday. Credit: Facebook
ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( -

Facebook will use St. Louis as a launching point to help build and transform small businesses in America.

The details were revealed at Cortex in an exclusive meeting between 10 local businesses and Mark Zuckerberg himself on Thursday. It's called "Community Boost" and it's going to be a key tool for small businesses to effectively reach their customers digitally. 

One of those people sitting in on this meeting with Zuckerberg was Nick Thomas. He works for "Eye See Me," a family owned children's bookstore in University City. Only six family members are running the whole business.  

"'Eye See Me' says it all. I basically see myself in a book. No matter what book, I pull out, I see myself," said Thomas, who explained that their bookstore only sells books with positive and historical messaging about African-Americans. "When you went to school, the first time that you saw a black person within a book is probably slavery. So think of that in terms of a black child seeing's demoralizing." 

Thomas was thrilled to meet Zuckerberg in person and get feedback on how to improve their business' community reach.

"I took a double take, like this man is physically here and he took the time to listen to all of our stories," said Thomas. 

The exclusive meeting at Cortex was a mix of entrepreneurs, high-tech start-ups, and small business owners. In this meeting, Zuckerberg introduced the social network's new initiative, 'Community Boost,' for the first time. The president and CEO of Cortex, Dennis Lower, explain the initiative as, "It's community-based to try to support small business around media, social marketing, computer literacy, coding, training."

In a post on Facebook, Zuckerberg explains that the biggest lesson he's learned while traveling to cities across the country this year is that, "Strong businesses create strong communities," which is why Facebook developed 'Community Boost.' "We can't rely on people walking through the door, so we have to touch them other ways," said Thomas. 

I've visited a lot of communities this year and one theme I've found is that strong small businesses create strong communities. That's because small businesses create jobs, provide services, and bring people together. A lot of small business owners end up being leaders in their communities too. - Mark Zuckerberg, founder & CEO of Facebook

At the beginning of every year, News 4 was told that Zuckerberg makes an ambitious resolution that he works on all year long to fulfill. This year his resolution is to visit all 50 states. Thursday's stop in St. Louis was his Missouri visit in completing his resolution.

'Community Boost' will roll out on Facebook sometime in 2018. A date has not been specified yet. 

For more info on the details of 'Community Boost' click here.

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