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About Us and From Us


Press About Us

WIVB Channel 4 News: March 15, 2023

 Erin St. John Kelly joined Channel 4 New Wake Up to talk about the event, which is taking place on April 14 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the new Downtown Bazaar at 617 Main Street.

Buffalo Rising: March 14, 2023

The resilient nature of the West Side Bazaar can be attributed to its tenants, supporters within the community, and the fortitude and resolve of WEDI. That’s why it’s so important that we all support WEDI with its upcoming WEDIfest – a celebratory fundraising event.

Reimaging the Civic Commons : March 13, 2023

In Buffalo, there’s a nonprofit organization called WEDI that operates the West Side Bazaar. They assist immigrant and refugee families, helping them start over economically by starting small businesses, which are usually food- and craft-based.

Buffalo News: February 22, 2023

Boricua describes people of Puerto Rican descent. My previous education in boricuan cuisine came at the hands of the hard-working Puerto Rican restaurateurs of Buffalo, from Senor Vargas’ peerless pernil sandwiches to Sazon Criollo’s fried-while-you-wait pastellitos. To tap into the source of their inspirations gave me a turbo charged appreciation of what the boricua brigade has brought to Buffalo eaters.

January 26, 2023

West Side Bazaar restaurants launching on Main Street in February

 West Side Bazaar restaurateurs left adrift by a September fire at Grant Street’s celebrated international food court are coming downtown. For a while, at least, Downtown Bazaar will add South Sudanese, Ethiopian, Filipino and Puerto Rican culinary choices to the Theater District menu at 617 Main St. A soft opening is expected in mid-February. The former EXPO space will open weekdays. Between its restaurants, and a full liquor bar, it will aim to offer food and drink, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

WGRZ Channel 2 News

Buffalo News

Buffalo Business First

Off Road with Peter Palmisano: January 23, 2023

As one of the most influential programs in the city, WEDi has been instrumental in offering critical assistance to small businesses and young students who would otherwise be lost in a foreign city, unable to even understand the language. In this episode of OFF ROAD, Erin Kelly, its Director of Internal Relations, explains WEDi's mission and its undeniable importance.

January 13, 2023

007 Chinese Food gets new home in Hamburg

One of the restaurants displaced in the accidental fire at the West Side Bazaar in September has a new home.

007 Chinese Food just opened in the Village of Hamburg at 84 Lake Street.

WGRZ Channel 2 News

WKBW Channel 7 News

Buffalo News

Buffalo Rising: January 13, 2023

Work continues on West Side Bazaar’s future home at 1432 Niagara Street while its current location remains closed after a September 20 fire.  The bazaar is a small business incubator offering food and unique products from a diverse group of cultures and ethnicities.

AM Buffalo January 13, 2023

January 13 is National Chicken Curry Day so Mercedes Wilson and Emily Lampa, hosts of AM Buffalo, invited Rakhapura Restaurant's Elizabeth Sher to share her chicken curry dish to celebrate.

WIVB Channel 4 News: January 13, 2023

WIVB Channel 4 News: January 13, 2023

 A fire at the West Side Bazaar on Grant Street this past September was devastating for many.

Of the 11 businesses that were destroyed as a result of the fire, Harvey Heinrich’s family’s 007 Chinese Food was one of them.

Press Releases From Us

August 15, 2022

On Friday, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz announced that WEDI will receive $925,000 for its planned move and expansion of the West Side Bazaar. WEDI has been raising capital campaign funds for building the new Bazaar since March 2021.

December 9, 2021

The $7.5 million capital campaign is now past the halfway mark with contributions from M&T Bank, The John R. Oishei Foundation, and the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.

Press Releases about us

November 10, 2022

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced that WEDI received two federal grants totaling $375,000. A grant for $250,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement will continue support for refugee-owned microenterprises. Another $125,000 grant is allocated through the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CFDI) fund.

August 30, 2022

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced construction has begun on a $11.5 million project to create a new and significantly expanded West Side Bazaar. Founded by the Westminster Economic Development Initiative in 2011, the West Side Bazaar small business incubator quickly became a popular shopping and dining destination for locals and tourists searching for unique food and retail opportunities.

August 12, 2022

August 12, 2022

Art and cultural institutions of all sizes across Erie County will soon be seeing capital improvements following the investment of over $8.6 million in new county funding to support these organizations’ efforts, the initial investments of a $25 million initiative announced by Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz in his 2022 State of the County address.

July 19, 2022

Buffalo’s West Side Bazaar, a program of the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI), secured Historic and New Markets Tax Credit equity from Monarch Private Capital with which to invest in its multicultural community hub that supports small business owners.

May 9, 2022

“Small businesses, including these operated by Western New York’s immigrant and refugee population, enrich our community culturally and economically,” said Congressman Higgins. “This federal funding secured for WEDI will be critical in completing the West Side Bazaar expansion project, which will allow the organization to serve a greater number of up-and-coming, traditionally underserved entrepreneurs in the Western New York community.” 

August 16, 2021

KeyBank, in partnership with the First Niagara Foundation, is donating $1.5 million to support the Westminster Economic Development Initiative's new West Side Bazaar Project. This transformative gift is part of KeyBank's $40 billion National Community Benefits Plan and is symbolic of the bank's longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

July 29, 2021

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the approval of H.R. 4502, a package of seven appropriation bills making investments in federal programs and initiatives including infrastructure, education, small business, and job opportunity, among other priorities for America and Western New York, including $950,000 for the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI) to support the expansion of the West Side Bazaar. Watch the announcement or read the press release.

June 29, 2021

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced federal legislation, which includes $1.7 million to help small businesses in Western New York, has crossed an initial legislative hurdle. A House Appropriations subcommittee approved a bill including $950,000 for the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI) to support the expansion of the West Side Bazaar and $750,000 for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at SUNY Buffalo State to help small businesses in Western New York expand e-commerce and grow an online presence.

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