NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month. Today is also small business day. To celebrate both and look ahead to another even this week, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz and New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker did some shopping at the Million Asian Market.
After 13 years running their business on Orange Street, the owners of the market feel they have been welcomed by New Haven.
“Like a family, like friends, so we’re happy we’re here, said Million Asian Market co-owner Zhi Yong Wang. “We love New Haven.”
The AAPI community had to come together during Covid to deal with racism, and is happy to concentrate on other things now.
“Even though this was started in reaction to that and out of that fear, we also have grown and are dedicated to celebrating our resilience, our diversity, our uniqueness and our voice and visibility,” explained aapiNHV Co-Founder Christine Kim.
Mayor Justin Elicker (D-New Haven) says he is all about celebrating small businesses.
“It also helps our city be more resilient because lots of different small businesses means that we’re not reliant on one or two big businesses to create jobs,” Elicker said.
The Million Asian Market and lots of other small businesses will all be on display later this week as well. On Friday night, Orange Street will be cordoned off from George Street to Court Street for what they call the New Haven Night Market.
“Food, games and music, so it should be a phenomenal night down here in New Haven,” said Winfield Davis IV, the Executive Director of the Town Green Special Services District. “It is free and open to the community. We invite everybody to come.”
Previous Night Markets have seen busy streets full of music and dancing. This time will also have that focus on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
“We will have amazing arts and crafts for kids,” Kim said. “We will have a whole mini-museum exhibit of who we are in this community and how we’re changing.”
The night market runs from 5 to 10 p.m. this Friday, May 12.