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How Lifting Barriers for Small Business Owners Creates a More Vibrant Social Economy

Bobby Boone

The retail real estate system typically rewards affluent communities with goods and services. The organization Bobby Boone founded, &Access, addresses these inequities by helping small businesses in low-income areas. Boone and Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) founder Jim Peters discuss the barriers for small businesses entering the retail sector and what &Access does to help business owners navigate them.  

Boone and Peters also discuss incentives in place to occupy retail storefronts that have been recently vacated because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Boone understands the value of curated mixed-use developments and uses his strategic framework to uplift under-resourced communities and create vibrant spaces.

Bobby Boone



Bobby Boone, with a background in Architecture and Urban Planning, was always fascinated with people and places. After living in Istanbul, he saw firsthand how differently retail space was used compared to the U.S. This experience inspired Boone’s career in the retail real estate industry, where he strategized the repositioning of malls of yesteryear in Detroit. He founded &Access after working in Detroit. &Access, based in Washington, D.C., works to provide equitable solutions for under-resourced communities of entrepreneurs.