Jamaica Plain is known for its eclectic mix of locally-owned, community-oriented retail stores, restaurants, and cafes, but it’s also the home of many “hidden gems” that residents don’t usually see. Everyone will get the chance to know more than 40 independent, locally-owned businesses and nonprofits will exhibit at the Jamaica Plain Local First Fair on September 14 at the Loring-Greenough House. The fair will be held from 3:30 pm to dusk at the Loring-Greenough House (12 South St.). The rain date is Thursday, September 21st, from 3:30 pm to dusk at the same location. The Local First Fair will feature businesses that offer a wide range of personal and professional services, including coaching, financial services, holistic health, legal, marketing, personal training, photography and printing.
JP Local First, a network of local and independently owned businesses, is promoting “Buy Local” by offering a $1,000 shopping spree to people who snap and post a selfie at a JP Local First member business. “JP Local First has 170 member businesses in Jamaica Plain and surrounding neighborhoods,” said Steering Committee member David Warner. “The selfie contest and our other events offer fun ways for folks in JP to help local businesses do good and do well.”
Nationally, businesses in communities that offer a sustained grassroots “buy independent/buy local” initiative like JP Local First have increased sales nearly twice as much as businesses in communities without these campaigns, according to the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA). Participants can enter by snapping a selfie at a JP Local First member business and posting the photo to social media with the hashtag #jplocalfirst and the hashtag for that business. In addition to the grand prize, which will give the winner two hours to spend the $1000 at a minimum of 5 member businesses, a $100 prize will be awarded for the person who submits the most entries.
I have been asked, “why am I a member of JP Local First?” Well, I choose to spend my money where I think it will do the most good. Sometimes that means looking for a good deal, other times it means supporting my fellow neighbor, while looking to get a quality service or product, and meeting my needs. It is with helping my fellow neighbor in mind that I choose to support locally owned businesses. I don't do this to just to feel good, but rather to capitalize on an opportunity to improve or sustain the livelihood of those close to me. Local institutions bring a certain variety to a neighborhood, even helping to enhance the uniqueness of our JP and surrounding neighborhoods.
Opened a year ago at 5 Green St., Papercuts JP was prominently displayed Saturday at the seventh annual Boston Book Festival held at Copley Square and adjacent venues. Working in collaboration with Harvard Book Store, Papercuts JP was one of seven metropolitan-area independent booksellers at the Book Festival. Boston proper has only two independent book sellers focusing on new books: Trident on Newbury Street and Papercuts JP. Papercuts JP had a table overflowing with new books at the Boston Common Hotel on the second floor conference room. This summer, Jamaica Plain News spoke to proprietor Kate Layte about her first seven months in business.
[Editor's note: This report is being reproduced in English by kind arrangement with El Mundo Newspaper, where it originally appeared.]
Business owners in two of Boston’s most Latino neighborhoods, Hyde and Jackson squares in Jamaica Plain, aim to work together to bring in more customers. In two recent sessions hosted by Hyde Jackson Square Main Street and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp., a total of more than 30 business owners strategized on how to improve the business environment. Business owners at the first meeting, held May 13 at the Julia Martin House, focused on safety, parking and cleanliness, said Rafael Mejia, owner of Evelyn’s Market and president of the Hyde Jackson Square Merchants Association. Mejia said business owners want to give people more reasons to go into Hyde and Jackson squares. “A lot of people don’t know what’s in the neighborhood,” Mejia said.