Hi, Neighbor. Airbnb hosts and Bed-Stuy small business owners get social.

Airbnb and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce teamed up for an exciting event at a great local bar in Bed-Stuy, Bed-Vyne Brew. Joined by New York City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr. and representatives from other local organizations, this event invited the Airbnb community and representatives from local small businesses to mix, mingle, and celebrate their wonderful Brooklyn neighborhood. So what happens when hosts, local businesses and a New York City Council Member come together to meet and greet? Well, magic, in a way. Maybe more importantly, though: important conversation and mutual appreciation.

“I think it’s critical that policy makers listen to small business owners about what’s important to them, and that includes what’s working well,” said Cornegy. “And there’s just no doubt that brick and mortar businesses are benefiting from Airbnb. Owners have noticed the increased foot traffic, made the connections and that’s why they’re arranging specials for the guests of local hosts, and displaying Airbnb window decals. It’s all in recognition of how important these tourist dollars are for their businesses and New York City in general. It’s a beautiful synergy and I’m happy to support this excellent benefit of the sharing economy.”

12102015_Bed Stuy Small Biz Social-84

Almost 40 Airbnb Hosts and representatives from 26 local businesses attended, a huge sign of just how much the community is thriving. The room was buzzing with Hosts and Businesses sharing information and local tips with each other. The give and take was pretty special to watch.

12102015_Bed Stuy Small Biz Social-25

“I’m totally pro-Airbnb because we’ve grown with them…any given night, you’ll meet someone here from anywhere in the world that’s here because their host told them about us.” said Rotimi Akinnuoie, founder of Bed-Vyne Brew. “Without those guests and hosts, it’s a chunk of our business we don’t have.”

Carlo Scissura, President and CEO Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, was equally grateful and optimistic. “By bringing tourism dollars to local Brooklyn neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy, the whole community benefits. You chose to stay here and support our home, Brooklyn. The great Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights. And you continue to build us up and bring people back to the place we are so very proud to call home. Thank you all for what you do.”

Home sharing has proven to be a win-win for neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy – local residents can make extra income to be able to continue to afford their beloved neighborhood, their guests get to live like a local and support neighborhood businesses, all while the businesses see an increase in revenue from new customers from around the world. The event was such a success that it has us beyond excited to co-host more events with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce that bring hosts and small businesses together. And hey, maybe even a few more City Council Members will join the fun too.

Thanks to all that came. And to all who couldn’t make it, we look forward to saying hello at the next one.