Last month, Explore Brooklyn and New York State Assembly Member Joseph R. Lentol joined 35 Airbnb hosts and 28 local business leaders at a perennial Williamsburg favorite, MyMoon, for the second in a series of Small Business Socials with the Airbnb community. These socials provide an opportunity for hosts to meet with and learn more about the owners of businesses in their neighborhood, many of which they recommend to their guests.
Lentol, who represents Greenpoint and Williamsburg, set a tone of welcome and mutual support with his opening remarks: “At the heart of a resilient community is a diverse and vibrant atmosphere, which can be achieved by having neighborhoods with varied uses—from residential and recreational space to commercial and retail space,” he said. “What is wonderful about Brooklyn is that we do have a diverse community. Many of us walk to work or walk to the local bar or walk to the local clothing store. Even more so, Brooklyn is special because Brooklynites support Brooklyn businesses and Brooklyn businesses support Brooklyn businesses.”
“Small businesses are truly a vital part of Brooklyn’s character,” Lentol continued. “And I believe that home sharing fits into this fabric, as hosts are able to support local shops by directing visitors to their favorites. As Brooklynites, we are always here to help each other and home sharing speaks volumes to Brooklyn’s incessant desire to be hospitable.”
Between chatting, snacking on small plates, and enjoying MyMoon’s very hospitable beverage selection, hosts and local business leaders competed in a friendly scavenger hunt to see who could mark off the most introductions made in the shortest amount of time. A hot sauce shop’s employees met a local tour guide; a host originally from Argentina spoke passionately with a foodie bartender about his watering hole’s steak sandwiches. As businesses introduced their specialties, hosts jotted down new fodder for their guidebooks.
When the event’s planned end time came, the room was still abuzz. MyMoon graciously stayed open so attendees could finish their drinks and wrap up their conversations before heading home.
We are heartened to know that this same thing is happening all across the country: small businesses and Airbnb hosts are forming a mutually-supportive network to let travelers live like locals and keep neighborhoods vibrant—all while helping to sustain local economic growth.
We look forward to more small business socials in the months ahead. They’re a fun, face-to-face way to get Airbnb hosts, local businesses, and the elected officials who represent us together and talking so we can continue to strengthen our communities through the win-win of home sharing.