BUFFALO, NY – The West Side Bazaar, which has become a popular attraction with its unique gift items and food from around the world, has received a major financial gift which will allow for it to grow in a new location.
The $215,000 grant, awarded by the Junior League of Buffalo, will provide for the long sought expansion.
“This is very exciting,” said Benjamin Bissell, executive director of the not for profit Westminster Economic Development Initiative, which operates the Bazaar on Grant Street.
"This is a piece of the pie in terms of allowing us to expand the space that the Bazaar needs, and it desperately needs space," said Bissell, who noted what began seven years ago as a business incubator with six minority and refugee entrepreneurs, has grown to 19 businesses, cramped into 3,200 square feet of space...with a waiting list of at least 100 more looking to get in.
“We are looking to go to for 10,000 square feet…which would triple the size of the Bazaar. And that would likely be in a new location,” said Bissell.
However, Bissell declined to say where that new location might be.
“Not yet…because at this point we’re still negotiating,” he said, confirming only that the new location would most certainly be somewhere on the west side.
“We plan to remain the West Side Bazaar,,,so this award will allow us to take a step forward and make our truly larger vision a reality,” Bissell said.
Westminster Economic Development Initiative was selected over 45 other not for profits which had applied for the grant from the Junior League, which since 1981 has awarded more than 4 million dollars to various organizations, through its annual Decorators Showcase House fundraiser.