Four small businesses get opportunity to showcase firms at one of NYC's top winter shopping destinations
Bank of America today announced the four New York City-based women- and minority-owned business beneficiaries of this year’s Bank of America Small Business Spotlight program at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park. Each business will showcase and sell their products at a rent-free booth in the Winter Village Holiday Shops for approximately two weeks each. Offering these local entrepreneurs and businesses the opportunity to reach new customers at one of the city’s top winter shopping destinations, Bank of America covers shop rent and coordinates the basic build-out of the shop.
Last year, the approximately 170 holiday shops, including the four Small Business Spotlight vendors, generated about $30 million in sales during the season.
“Small businesses are an indispensable part of the city’s economy, and their growth and success positively impact New Yorkers and local communities across the five boroughs,” said José Tavarez, President, Bank of America New York City. “Given the success of past years, we look forward to continuing to lift up local entrepreneurs with free access to the Small Business Spotlight holiday shop space. The businesses selected this year join a network of 13 other New York City-based minority-owned small business owners who have benefitted from this program since we launched it in 2020.”
The four featured Small Business Spotlight businesses are:
- The Winsome Apothecary (Queens): This Queens-based, Black-owned modern apothecary crafts small-batch holistic body products, from face and body oils to clean deodorant. Owner and artisan Courtney Wiggins’ unique scent combinations and products are designed to evoke the senses with floral, citrus, and earthy notes. Visit The Winsome Apothecary from Oct. 28 – Nov. 13.
- The Picnic Day (Manhattan): Manhattan-based mother of two, Mai Akdeniz transformed her side business creating colorful, sustainable clothes for the whole family into a full-time business: The Picnic Day. This Asian American-owned brand features playful garments for babies, children, and adults, which incorporate upcycled materials, leverage zero-waste techniques, and use organic cotton. Visit The Picnic Day from Nov. 14 – Nov. 27.
- Cocoa Puzzles (Brooklyn): Cocoa Puzzles is a Brooklyn-based, Black-owned children’s jigsaw puzzle company whose mission is to add diversity to the puzzle industry through representation. By creating illustrations and products that feature children of color and other minority identities, founder Putrice Thomas hopes to engage and inspire children to, above all, love themselves and others. Visit Cocoa Puzzles from Nov. 28 – Dec. 11.
- Avalah (Brooklyn): Creator of skin, hair, beard, and home essentials, Brooklyn-based company Avalah uses all-natural ingredients to manufacture their products. Inspired by Avalah CEO Alexzandra Denis’ West Indian heritage, Avalah’s unisex products, which range from body butter and wash to beard balm and soy wax candles, strive to deliver a spa-like experience. Visit Avalah from Dec. 12 – Jan. 2.
In addition to this year’s featured Small Business Spotlight vendors, former Small Business Spotlight participants Kalsang Pottery (2021) and Tibet Tree of Life (2020) will return to the Holiday Shops, this time as paid vendors.
“Bank of America’s Small Business Spotlight allowed us to kick-start our business and reach new customers from across New York City and beyond,” said Kalsang Chomphel, Founder, Kalsang Pottery. “The exposure and business experience we gained during the 2021 winter season not only allowed us to grow our business and develop loyal customers, but it has allowed us the ability to secure our very own holiday shop and return to Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park for another successful year.”
New York City’s small businesses continue to navigate the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionately affects minority-owned businesses. According to Bank of America’s 2022 Women and Minority Business Owner Spotlight, 59% of women business owners say they must work harder for the same level of success as men, and less than half of women business owners (48%) believe they currently have equal access to capital.
Designed to empower business owners by addressing the many inequities and barriers to success – such as access to capital and resources – that women- and minority-owned businesses often face, the Small Business Spotlight will help drive economic growth and opportunity for these local entrepreneurs.
Celebrating a decade of partnership between Bryant Park and Bank of America, the iconic Winter Village opens on October 28. The Small Business Spotlight dates align with the Holiday Shops calendar and will run October 28, 2022, until January 2, 2023. Shops will be open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (opening day will begin at noon). The Small Business Spotlight booth can be found near the fountain, close to the 41st Street and 6th Avenue entrance to Bryant Park.
About Bank of America
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).