Mayor de Blasio Launches BE NYC to Grow Black Businesses

The BE NYC Cabinet meets to help develop solutions to support the City’s Black-owned businesses. Image Credit: BE NYC/Small Business Services

On August 19, 2020, Mayor de Blasio announced BE NYC, a new initiative that will increase the number of Black-owned businesses in high-growth industries Citywide. Additionally, the Department of Small Business Services has released the landmark Black entrepreneurship report and launched four new programs for Black business owners.

The BE NYC was guided by research, data, and the input of nearly 1,500 Black entrepreneurs in the City. The information that the City gathered revealed that Black entrepreneurs needed assistance with accessing capital, customers, affordable workspace, and networking opportunities. BE NYC strives to provide Black entrepreneurs with equitable access to financing, strengthen connections within NYC’s Black entrepreneurial community, scale Black businesses for long-term success, and prepare Black entrepreneurs for the future.

City Council, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, The Young Men’s Initiative, and the Department of Small Business Services are jointly funding a BE NYC accelerator effort which includes meeting space and technical assistance for Black entrepreneurs looking to launch or grow their businesses.

The Department of Small Business Services has launched four new initiatives for Black entrepreneurs, including creating the Advancing Black Entrepreneurship in NYC publication, fostering connections with world-class business experts, creating access to capital and business education, and providing technical assistance.

The Advancing Black Entrepreneurship in NYC publication creates a blueprint for advancing Black Entrepreneurship throughout the City and provides recommendations for the BE NYC program. The Department of Small Business Services has also partnered with Ernst & Young to connect Black entrepreneurs with world-class resources and guidance, including a resource hub, interactive online and face-to-face learning and consulting sessions, and financial planning assistance.

The Department of Small Business Services has partnered with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses to facilitate affordable financing and business education, and with MasterCard to assist Black entrepreneurs with e-commerce and launching virtual stores.

“Black entrepreneurs built New York City,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This historic public-private partnership will ensure we can come together to support them, and give them the recognition they have deserved for so long.”

By: Victoria Agosta (Victoria is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)


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