Local Pursuits: A new-and-improved resource guide and interactive map called “GetlocalEV” is fostering small businesses while advancing sustainability.
Small businesses are muscling it out, but some rental markets are harder to sustain. The NYC Department of Small Business Services reported a “moderately high” storefront vacancy rate (or 14 percent district-wide), especially on Avenue B (25 percent), with vacant storefronts spawning graffiti.
GetlocalEV, which is a rebrand of an earlier project, is helmed under the East Village Community Coalition, a nonprofit that promotes merchants and community in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood. On Getlocalev.com, small businesses populate an interactive, colorful map relaying the usual information such as opening hours and whether there is outdoor dining, as well as gift cards and fundraising opportunities. For more conscious consumers, the listing page also denotes search features for “minority/women-owned,” “Black-owned,” “LGBTQ-owned” and “Ukrainian” businesses.
The Instagram page of the same name is aimed at Millennials, young professionals and nearby New York University students, helping advertise small business offerings (as well as freebies and volunteer opportunities).
“The businesses we highlight are very appreciative,” said EVCC’s executive director Laura Sewell. “NYU has been very receptive and helpful about getting the word out. Our focus up to now has been on crafting an identity and fostering collaborative relationships. That the students volunteer their time speaks for itself.”
One student, Aashika Nagarajan, is spearheading an April campaign during Earth Month.
Resale Moves: Resale is in full swing at Mara Hoffman. Though she adopted the program a few years ago amid the pandemic, she’s still keen to share learnings.
“It was not the easiest time to do that, but at the same time it made the most sense as far as really homing in and re-embracing more than we’ve ever had to,” Hoffman told WWD at a resale panel event earlier this month at Jungle Bird, the designer spoke in a fireside chat with Recurate’s vice president of partnerships Karin Dillie. “Every brand should be concerned about their end of life and what they’re doing to prolong that and how they’re communicating to their customers and how they’re providing an alternative to what’s gotten us into a troubled world.”
Given that Wall Street is hungry for numbers on how resale is faring, Mara Hoffman provided the following metrics on the program’s performance. Some 50 percent of the secondhand buyers are new to Mara Hoffman, with sellers spending 3.1-times more after selling secondhand. This means, on average, if a seller sells an item for $100, they come back and buy an item for $310. Another interesting statistic is that with 32 percent of sellers who lapsed for over a year (not buying), Mara Hoffman’s resale program helped reengage them.
On TikTok, often a real-time trend wheel, views for “popcorn textured dress” hit 5.3 million, which is one successful style of Hoffman’s.
But Hoffman stressed her coveted popcorn dress is not currently available on the Full Circle Marketplace. “The popcorn dresses rarely make it right now to Full Circle — but that’s also awesome because that means people are doing what they’re supposed to be doing [which is wearing in the clothes].”