Small shops get help opening in Bed-Stuy

December 29, 2011 12:16PM

A Bedford Stuyvesant-based non-profit is helping local residents set up small businesses in their neighborhood, the New York Daily News reported.

The Brooklyn non-profit, Shops of Lewis Avenue Merchants Association, which started out as a group of Business Owners On Lewis Avenue, is now expanding, and neighbors are interested in opening shops as diverse as a bakery and a gardening store.

“There’s a different way business gets done when you know you’re serving your next door neighbor or the lady around the corner,” said Monique Greenwood, president of association. She meets with landlords, shop owners and potential shop owners, trying to “find the right fit,” the News said. And there is no lack of interest.

Newest association members Donna Drake and her husband want to open a new Latin fusion restaurant, Beso, on Lewis Avenue in January.

“This is my neighborhood and this is an investment in myself,” Drake said. “We’re staking our claim to make sure no outsiders come in and ruin what’s been preserved.” [NYDN]