The mayor, who admitted that in most years he goes “right up to the last point” on December 24 to finish his Christmas shopping, used the opportunity to encourage New Yorkers to shop locally and keep money in the local community.
“McNally Jackson Bookstore is a great, independent community bookstore, a place that I love,” de Blasio said. “It just represents neighborhood and community, but also the incredible books they have from all over the world.”
Supporting a community bookstore, the mayor said, means not just helping out a small business and the people who own it and work there, but also keeping a New York City tradition alive.
“Community bookstores represent our communities, make sure that literature represents all of us, is there for everyone to partake in,” he added. “This is a crucial part of the personality of New York City.”
While he was shopping at the bookstore, de Blasio said he learned about a campaign that McNally Jackson started called #BoxedOut. Their message, the mayor said, was to focus on the little guys and not just have “the big power players” dominate the literature and book market.
Afterward, de Blasio visited a City Point offshoot of the Flatbush Canton Market, which provides a space for Caribbean communities from Brooklyn to sell goods and celebrate Caribbean culture.
The mayor, who noted that the original market is being redeveloped, said he bought some gifts there for his family.
Along the way, he spoke with small business owners like Tracey Boyce Mahia, who started Perry Boyce, which sells fragrances, candles and homemade organic products. According to the mayor, Mahia told him she was worried about whether her business would survive this year.
Luckily, Mahia got an opportunity to sell her products at the City Point marketplace, leading to her doubling her sales compared to last year.
“She saw more and more people, new customers that wouldn’t have known about her business before,” de Blasio said. “She started a really thriving online business.”
The mayor acknowledged that not every small business is so lucky, and that the city lost many small businesses that make up its neighborhoods. But he said there are also many stories of people reaching new customers and patrons “coming out with heart and passion” to support small businesses.
As the new year approaches, de Blasio encouraged New Yorkers to continue shopping at local small businesses.
“You have a chance, every one of you, to contribute to them staying strong, them sticking around for next year,” he said. “Buy local, shop local.”