FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES COMMISSIONER WALSH CUT RIBBON ON RECENTLY-RENOVATED FLATBUSH CATON MARKET
New Market Website Will Support Small Businesses and Help Them Grow Their Customer Base
New Plaque Will Honor Former Council Member Una Clarke
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Robert Walsh today cut the ribbon on the recently renovated Flatbush Caton Market in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. The market, which serves as an incubator for a diverse array of small businesses, was renovated with funds from a federal community development block grant. The Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI), which oversees day-to-day operation of the market on behalf of SBS, unveiled a plaque to laid at the market in honor of former City Council Member Una S.T. Clarke, who has played an integral role in the development of the market since 2000. The Mayor also helped launch a new website for the market - www.flatbushcatonmarket.com - created by SBS to showcase the market's entrepreneurs and attract visitors. Former Council Member Clarke, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, State Senator Kevin Parker, City Council Member Mathieu Eugene and CACCI President and CEO Dr. Roy A. Hastick Sr. joined the Mayor at the announcement at the market located at 814 Flatbush Avenue.
"New York City's 220,000 small businesses form the backbone of our City's economy, and the Flatbush Caton market serves as an important incubator helping micro-entrepreneurs from around the world establish their businesses and build clientele," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Former Council Member Clarke led the effort to build the market, and we owe her a debt of gratitude for its success. The market's recent renovations and new website will play an important role in continuing that success by attracting visitors to the market and the East Flatbush community. I would also like to thank Congresswoman Clarke and City Council Member Eugene for continuing to advocate for the market's small businesses."
"Thanks to the vision of Former Council Member Clarke and the one-on-one business education and assistance provided by the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry to vendors at the market, a number of small businesses which launched at Flatbush Caton have already gone on to become successful stand-alone enterprises," said Commissioner Walsh. "This website will further catalyze the growth of the market's vendors."
"I am honored that Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Walsh and the staff of the Department of Small Business Services recognize my efforts on behalf of an emerging community to help entrepreneurs seek economic opportunity," said Former Council Member Clarke. "I hope they move forward, thrive and grow as part of the economic mainstream."
The renovations to the market, designed by the City's Department of Design and Construction, have added signage to attract visitors and transformed previously open stalls into enclosed booths allowing vendors to securely display and store their merchandise. The re-design won an "Excellence in Design" award from the Public Design Commission this year.
The market's new website offers descriptions of the market's vendors and products, providing an online presence and promotional vehicle to many of the micro-entrepreneurs for the first time. The website also includes a map of the market and calendar of community events designed to attract visitors to the market.
The Flatbush Caton market is currently home to 47 vendors selling products including original African art, Caribbean music and custom clothing and jewelry, as well as a seasonal farmer's market in the summer and fall. The market was established in 2000 to provide a home to grow the businesses of vendors who were then selling their goods on the street.
The market is overseen by SBS, with day-to-day operations handled by CACCI. In addition to providing a venue to help entrepreneurs build a customer base, CACCI provides vendors with business education courses and one-on-one counseling on how to launch and operate successful micro-businesses.
Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
Larry Scott Blackmon (Small Business Services)