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Keeping it in The Stuy: Are you Ready to Shop Local?

As a resident, are you willing and ready to support Bed-Stuy’s local businesses?

This past Saturday, March 24th, was “,” when three local businesses joined together to bring Bed-Stuy residents a complete evening of entertainment.

For just $25, residents could enjoy a drink at , watch a play at the and then relax in a lounge setting or dance the night away at the , all to encourage patronage of the neighborhood’s local businesses.

How many of you attended?

Supporting local businesses is at the cornerstone of the community’s economic development. Without this critical support, local merchants are forced to close their doors. Also, businesses that come and go quickly discourages future businesses from opening in their place, diminishing the economic viability of a neighborhood.

Many vibrant and exciting new restaurants, grocery stores and apparel stores have opened in Bedford-Stuyvesant. And many residents express a great deal of enthusiasm for shopping local and reinvesting their dollars back into the community. Yet, local businesses in Bed-Stuy continue to struggle.

Why is this?

Is it because there still are not enough options in the neighborhood that squarely meet the needs of residents? Or perhaps residents shop less frequently in general because of financial stress caused by the recession? Or is it simply out of habit for residents to travel outside of the neighborhood and shop in other stores?

Take our poll, and let us know in the comments.

Joe Gonzalez March 27, 2012 at 05:12 PM
The article is a good start on an important subject but it falls way short. It could have raised the question as to why local stores, who want local residents to be shoppers have largely failed to hire local residents as staffers. Several months ago this reporter (Ms. Morris) wrote a puff piece on a new store the Hasidic community opened up. At that time I posted a comment (and sent Ms. Morris an e-mail which she never answered) raising the issue as to why the Hasidic community is opening up stores thru Bed-Stuy and beyond but does not hire any Blacks in any of their stores. Local residents want to see themselves represented in these stores. Ms. Morris I know you to be a fine journalist be I argue this article fails to address the core issue as to why local residents are not shopping local.
Melissa Danielle March 27, 2012 at 05:31 PM
I agree with Mr. Gonzalez that we're not holding some of these new establishments to task for not hiring locally. When I brought it up on the Metropolitan Citymarket post, other commenters thought my question was irrelevant. I support the restaurants in the neighborhood because I know they hire locally, even if that sometimes means they don't look like me. I originally had other plans for my birthday on Saturday so I didn't take advantage of that special, but after they were cancelled, I had birthday brunch at Peaches and dinner at Hothouse. Most of my income is spent on food - groceries and dining out. I do not like the conventional grocery options in Bed-Stuy so I've created my own by way of starting a buying club. Come spring, I will not have to leave the neighborhood to eat unless I want something the neighborhood doesn't offer yet, like Colombian food or falafel. I wish we had a stronger, more cohesive marketing campaign for the independently owned businesses run by Bed-Stuy residents. Previous events have been haphazard and misdirected.
Nikita B. March 27, 2012 at 05:33 PM
I am all for shopping local and I do so as often as I can. It's important to contribute to the potential economic growth and stability of your community. However, I agree somewhat with Mr. Gonzalez. Local businesses rarely employ people from the community. As a resident, it's a concern of my own. This paired with the lack of variety would discourage locals from patronizing these businesses.
C. Zawadi Morris March 27, 2012 at 05:55 PM
@Joe, you will notice I rarely comment on the site, except to clear up confusion regarding a story. This is the readers' forum, not mine. However, you will find me quite talkative on the Bed-Stuy Patch Facebook page, if you want to discuss something. But to address your comment regarding the story on the Kosher Supermarket, I found it rather ironic you raised this as an issue, as when I went to interview the store owner of Green Fresh Kosher, there was a black man working very hard, helping to load products inside of the store and on to the shelves. So in this case you were incorrect. In fact, if you look at the story again, right on the front page photo, you can see the man who was working for them right outside: http://patch.com/A-n6Sl. Have a great day!
rotimi a. March 27, 2012 at 06:46 PM
great article. the bed-stuypatch continues to do a great job covering the community. ultimately, i think it's up to the local residents of bed-stuy to create and run their own businesses the way they want. as long as local residents don't create their own businesses, it's a little difficult to dictate to business owners who take the risk and put in the sweat equity, how to run their businesses. i encourage residents of bed-stuy to create and run their own local businesses. the more businesses we open, the more options people have, the more people will shop locally.
Joe Gonzalez March 27, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Ms. Morris; No you got it all wrong as concerns your above claim that that Hasidic Store featured in an article you wrote on the Blog page last November 2011 is a Black man. I looked carefully at the photos attached to your article. The male contained in the photo outside the store is a Black man who at the time labored in the construction of the adjacent store that is why his boots are covered with white power and dust; the photos contained in your article show a Mexican male stocking the shelves. There are no Blacks in any of the photos. Reading the various postings you see one 'Abe Stein' explains WHY the Jews never hire Blacks. I urge everyone to hit the link Ms. Morris provides in her reply which will take you back to the earlier November 2011 article Ms. Morris wrote announcing the opening of a Hasidic-owned grocery store on Dekalb Ave.
C. Zawadi Morris March 27, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Joe, I assure you, the man in the photo was working for the grocery store. I was there watching for a good 20 minutes while interviewing the owner and taking pictures inside and outside of the store. I acknowledge and agree that new businesses should be diligent in their hiring of local residents. Absolutely! But also, do not forget that Hassidics live here too in large numbers. This is their community too. So technically, when they open a new business, they ARE hiring locally within their community-- something we should be more focused on doing (that is, opening our own new businesses and hiring locally) instead of expending energy attacking. That's just my two cents, but I respect all opinions.
Melissa Danielle March 27, 2012 at 11:26 PM
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