United Airlines promoting Shop Local Newark initiative

Airline adds links to key Newark sites in its app, gives page promoting 5 businesses in in-flight magazine

United Airlines — in partnership with the Greater Newark Convention and Visitors Bureau — is taking a number of steps to promote shopping local and supporting small business in Newark.

The airline, which is one of the 10 largest employers in the state, recommends five Newark-based businesses in the January edition of its in-flight magazine, Hemispheres, which will be on flights throughout February.

The content, entitled “Buy in Brick City,” highlights the Akwaaba Gallery, Off the Hanger, ANE Clothier, Black Swan Espresso and All Points West Distillery. The cost of the page was subsidized by the airline.

In addition to the magazine, United also is promoting the program within its app, directing customers to Newarkhappening.com to encourage them to shop local. In addition, United MileagePlus members with a Newark-based ZIP code will have a tile to the promotion on their home page.

Ricardo Salazar, acting CEO of GNVCB, said he was grateful for the recognition the airline is giving the city as part of the Shop Local Newark initiative.

“United is the first major airline to endorse and promote the small business community in Newark,” he said. “United’s marketing support of Newark’s small business community during this critical juncture is a boost to our growing entrepreneurial sector. I’d like to personally thank GNCVB Board Director Blenda Pinto, United Airlines’ director, corporate & government affairs Northeast Region, who supported and recommended us to lead this effort.”

Board chair Gregory Good said the effort speaks well of United’s commitment to the state.

“While the coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to make adjustments, United has stepped up to promote Newark as a great place to live, work and play with its Shop Local Newark initiative,” he said. “The pandemic is bringing out the best in humanity, and United’s support of Newark’s small business community only magnifies the significance of their partnership.”

Good said the Shop Local Newark campaign is a way the GNCVB can show off the city’s assets.

“Newark has a rich tapestry of minority-owned and multicultural restaurants and small businesses, offering an array of unique products and international cuisine,” he said. “Shop Local Newark was created to help local businesses recover some of the losses they suffered because of the COVID-19 pandemic by boosting sales throughout 2021.”

United has operated a hub at Newark Liberty International Airport for more than two decades. Prior to the pandemic, United operated more than 425 daily flights to more than 160 cities across the globe.

Pinto said the airline wanted to show its commitment to the city and its small business owners.

“It is essential that small businesses across America survive the pandemic,” she said. “These storefronts are the lifeblood of our communities, and it’s imperative that United leverages our strong ties to Newark to encourage our customers to shop locally and fuel the local economy. During this unprecedented time, we remain stronger together.”