PROSPECT-LEFFERTS GARDENS — Dozens of small businesses in the neighborhood want you to forget the mall and shop small for the holidays.
Brooklyn’s Community Board 9 and merchant associations in the southern Crown Heights and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens area will kick off their first ever “Shop Local” campaign this weekend, with special offers, pop-up markets and events held at neighborhood stores from Nov. 29 through Dec. 31, organizers said.
“We’ve never had anything like this in this area,” said Pia Raymond, a lifelong neighborhood resident and community board member who is helping put together Shop Local CB9. “It’s exciting because, every day, somebody kind of jumps on board with different ideas [for the program]. Once this is rolled out, there’s no telling what’s going to happen.”
All the businesses that join the campaign will have special prices and offers for customers, Raymond said. For example, at Bella Rose Beauty boutique at Nostrand Avenue and Rutland Road any purchase more than $50 will be 15 percent off. But lots of participating shops are coming up with other alternative ways to excite holiday shoppers, too.
At Inkwell Cafe on Rogers Avenue at Sterling Street, the local cultural group PLG Arts will perform jazz and a play on the weekend of Dec. 12 and 13, she said. At the Law Office of Joyce David on Flatbush Avenue at Hawthorne Street, local artisans will share their wares at a special pop-up market.
“We really want to encourage the sustainability of who’s already here," while supporting “a lot of wonderful new businesses and restaurants coming into the area," she said.
At Play Kids, a toy shop on Flatbush Avenue and Westbury Court, owner Shelley Kramer-Blake plans to offer free craft and dance classes in her store during Shop Local CB9, with a special visit by Mermaids on Parade author Melanie Hope Greenberg, she said.
“Our shoppers that we see all the time, they know our family, we know their family,” said Kramer-Blake, who has lived with her husband and two children on Parkside Avenue since 2006. “That’s what’s fun about having a shop in the community.”
In addition to running Play Kids, Kramer-Blake is the vice president of the Parkside Empire Flatbush Avenue Merchants Association, one of two merchant groups behind the CB9 effort. But Raymond said the campaign is open to any business owner in the district, even if a shop isn’t part of a larger association.
“We’re not limiting it. We really want to see that entire community district involved,” she said.
A complete list of participating shops will be posted on the blog of the Nostrand Avenue Merchants Association, the other group behind Shop Local CB9, Raymond said. But shoppers can look for participating businesses on the street, too, where balloons and Shop Local CB9 signs will decorate each store.