BED-STUY, Brooklyn — It’s the Winter Wonderland Holiday Bazaar at Restoration Plaza on Fulton Street and it’s a chance to help local business owners during the pandemic.
It is also a way to have lots of fun holiday shopping for great food and unique gifts, whether it’s a South African almond vanilla tea from Brooklyn Tea or Vonali Services' homemade eggnog, with or without alcohol, so yummy both ways.
Chanele Osborne, the Vonali Services co-owner, said the eggnog was “made with love.”
Sobol sunshine smoothies and acai bowls or one of a kind gifts like some Michelle and Barack Obama-themed umbrellas, masks and handbags from Designs by Nefertiti, or designsbyNef on Instagram.
“I try to support local businesses owned by African Americans,” one customer told PIX11 News, who preferred not to give her name.
This holiday bazaar is so needed right now because it’s estimated that more than half of all small business owners in Brooklyn could not pay their rent in November, according to the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. It is even a higher percentage in communities of color.
Across the city, at least one-third of the New York City’s 240,000 small businesses may never reopen once the pandemic eventually subsides, according to the Partnership for NYC.
“We have to think local, we have to shop in the community,” Marlon Rice, founder of Good People NYC, an event production company, told PIX11 News. “You should deal with the economics in your community first and foremost."
The Winter Wonderland was the brainchild of Lynette Battle, the acting executive director of the Bed Stuy Business Improvement District.
“A lot of our businesses don’t have the money or equipment to do open storefronts,” Battle said. “So we came up with the idea of a winter wonderland."
Local leaders were on hand to take part as well.
“We promote a shared economy, where we have app-based transportation companies,” Robert Cornegy, the councilmember from Bed-Stuy, told PIX11 News. “So Uber, Lift and others give discounted rides to Bed Stuy to people patronizing local businesses."
Jessica Maldonado was doing her part, trying on a custom-made jacket from She She Printing.
“These custom-made blazers are flying off the rack,” Sharon Smith, She She’s co-owner, said. “And that one fits you very well,” she told Maldonado.
This Winter Wonderland Holiday Bazaar at Restoration Plaza will have a fashion show tomorrow from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., so if you want to help local businesses, come check it out.