Four New Minority-Owned Businesses to be Showcased at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

November 1, 2021 at 9:00 AM Eastern

Bank of America announced today the four New York City-based minority-owned businesses that will be showcased rent-free during this year’s Small Business Spotlight at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park. The return of Small Business Spotlight follows the program's success at the Urbanspace Spring Up! Market earlier this year and Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park last winter.

Throughout the holiday season, the selected businesses will have the opportunity to sell their products in a rent-free booth, at one of New York City's top winter destinations for two weeks each. Products range from vintage clothing and handmade home décor to baked goods and pet-inspired artwork. In addition to helping the business owners reach new customers, Bank of America will also cover booth rental and the basic build-out of each shop, including flooring, lighting, display shelves, and signage.

The four featured businesses are:

  • Vampin’ Vintage (Manhattan): With a focus on style, quality, and individuality, this husband-and-wife team brings new life to old things. Vampin' Vintage is a way to showcase founders Aqeel and Ebony’s passion for art and thrifting while also sharing their eclectic style rooted in Bronx and Brooklyn culture with the rest of New York City. You can catch them and their iconic pieces through Nov. 14.
  • Kalsang Pottery (Queens): This small business specializes in high-quality, handmade art that can be used for everyday gastronomic pleasure and decorative home decor. Having emigrated from India at a young age, founder Kalsang Chomphel developed his passion for pottery after working in numerous service industries. After educating himself on how to perfect his art, Kalsang realized that he had a talent for crafting on the potter’s wheel. With a focus on Japanese, Korean, and British pottery cultures, all the products are one of a kind and made with the user in mind. Visit Kalsang Pottery Nov. 15 – Nov. 26.
  • Bitchin’ Babkas (Bronx/Westchester): This Black woman-owned business encourages you to discover what a babka is. Traditionally filled with chocolate or cinnamon, founder De’Asia Collins adds a twist to the classic Polish-Jewish treat. It was during the height of the coronavirus that the Brooklyn native realized baking Jewish delights was something that she wanted to pursue full time. The delicious dough became a canvas for other spreads, inspiring Collins to experiment with a variety of flavors. For treats with flavors exclusive to the Winter Village just in time for Hanukkah, visit Bitchin' Babkas from Nov. 27 - Dec. 12.
  • Blue Paws Art (Queens): Blue Paws Art is a startup owned by two Hispanic and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs Viito Mejia and Andres Isaquita who used their love for dogs, passion for art, and the cuteness of their white miniature schnauzer, Blue, as inspirations for clever pieces of art and custom pet portraits. With your choice of coffee mugs, tote bags, and apparel, their products are the perfect gift for animal lovers and pet owners alike. Visit Blue Paws Art from Dec. 13 – Jan. 2.

For much of the past year, New York City's small businesses have been trying to navigate the long-term impacts of the coronavirus. According to Bank of America’s 2021 Small Business Owner Report, 67% of New York entrepreneurs faced operational challenges amid the health crisis. However, many have been taking advantage of programs and resources to reduce the obstacles and hardships that they encounter. Bank of America seeks to further address this by creating opportunities for the minority-owned businesses who have been impacted most. The Small Business Spotlight will drive economic growth for local entrepreneurs as they continue on their path to recovery. The initiative is part of Bank of America’s larger commitment to improving the long-term economic mobility of New Yorkers and builds on the bank’s five-year $1.25 billion commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity in local communities across America.

"At Bank of America, we recognize the transformative role small businesses have within our local communities, which is why the Small Business Spotlight was brought back for a second year," said Jose Tavarez, President of Bank of America New York City. “Based on the positive feedback from last year’s participants, we recognized the initiative as an opportunity to help reduce obstacles and create unique opportunities for minority-owned small businesses in New York City."

The Small Business Spotlight will be at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park until January 2, 2022. Shops will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily (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.

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Reporters May Contact:

Anu Ahluwalia, Bank of America
Phone: 1.646.855.3375