For Business Owners in New York, Solidarity is an Act of Patriotism
The “Hate Has No Business Here” campaign will roll out at 21 business improvement districts across the city this week. With this simple message, the campaign aims to inspire a conversation to combat narratives that purport racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and misogyny, especially as they impact our city’s small business community.
The idea for a cohesive campaign originated with Amanda Neville, a wine shop owner in the Myrtle Avenue BID in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. “One of the business owners in our community was targeted with hateful comments via social media immediately after the election,” explains Neville. “Many of us along Myrtle Avenue were trying to speak out against divisiveness and hate. I thought it would be powerful to come together with one message, one visual to signal that we stand together, for each other.”
“Our city’s small business community is incredibly diverse. We are not only embracing that diversity through this campaign, we are rejecting rhetoric that challenges how valuable it is,” says Meredith Phillips Almeida, Executive Director, Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership. “We timed the campaign to coincide with Independence Day because we believe that one of the most patriotic things you can do is love your neighbors.”
The campaign logo features an American flag with a heart replacing the stars, designed to express the idea that love, kindness and acceptance are patriotic.
To date, 21 BIDs, representing thousands of business owners across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens will display posters, flyers and postcards in their districts — including translations of the message into 9 languages (Arabic, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Korean, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, Urdu). The campaign was designed pro bono by Three Furies, a consultancy located in the Lower East Side BID, and Starting Now, a design shop located near the Jackson Heights BID. The 82nd Street Partnership is joining forces with the Business Center for New Americans to conduct outreach to local businesses in Jackson Heights and surrounding communities.
“Our community’s vibrancy and success are due to its diversity. Here, respect for each other’s culture, language, religion, and sexual orientation is a way of life. We are an example of how diversity strengthens communities and the entire City” Says Leslie Ramos, Executive Director, 82nd Street Partnership.
”Humanity has no borders same as art, same as love. Our differences is our beauty” Says Lily Urzua, Owner, Urzua Center of Performing Arts in Jackson Heights, Queen.
“At BCNA we are proud to welcome clients from all over the world, many of whom come to New York as refugees to escape discrimination and targeting. As we celebrate the American promise of “liberty and justice for all” on July 4th, we’ll also embrace this New York City promise: “Hate Has No Business Here.” Says Yanki Tshering
The group is also providing free digital logos and flyers to others who want to join their movement. For the free downloads and a full list of participating BIDs, go to www.hatehasnobusinesshere.com.