The Westminster Economic Development Initiative, which operates West Side Bazaar, will receive $215,000 from proceeds from the 2017 Decorators’ Show House.
The Show House project is a major biennial community fundraiser co-sponsored by the Junior League of Buffalo and The Buffalo News. The 2017 Show House was held at the August Feine House, 766 Ellicott St.
The money will be used to expand the West Side Bazaar, an incubator for retail and food businesses run by immigrants, refugees and low-income people out of a small building at 25 Grant St.
"The significant expansion of WEDI’s West Side Bazaar will promote economic growth, job creation and retention and family income improvement," according to the announcement from the Junior League. "The Bazaar will increase from 3,200 square feet to 10,000 square feet and it will provide a tangible self-sustaining, food economies program that empowers low-income entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses.
"Ultimately these entrepreneurs will serve affordable, socially relevant cuisines to a surrounding community that is culturally rich, yet economically distressed."
[Related: Where to start at the West Side Bazaar]
The Junior League of Buffalo received 46 applications from nonprofit organizations located throughout Western New York. Following an extensive interview process, two organizations emerged as finalists and were presented to the Junior League general membership on April 17 as they pitched their project’s impact and financial need.
Neighborhood Legal Services was the other finalist for the Show House proceeds vote and presented a Medical Legal Mobile Unit to the general membership.
Since 1981, the Decorators’ Show House has raised more than $4 million for Western New York nonprofit organizations.