SBS launches “BE NYC” to create equity of opportunity for black entrepreneurs in NYC

Photos: Isseu Diouf Campbell

Deputy Mayor J. Phillip Thompson, Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Gregg Bishop, Shawn Rochester, Author of The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black in America, radio personality Angela Yee and entrepreneur Elliot Breece joined with hundreds of Black entrepreneurs to kick off Black Entrepreneurs NYC (BE NYC) on September 10, 2019, at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Black Entrepreneurs NYC (BE NYC) is a first-of-its-kind model in a major American city to help create equity of opportunity by empowering Black entrepreneurs.

Black individuals account for more than 20% of New Yorkers, but own only 2% of NYC businesses. This disparity is greater in NYC than nationally. In addition, black-owned businesses that do exist, tend to be disproportionately smaller. Only 3% of black-owned businesses in NYC have employees. White-owned firms in NYC collectively employ 40 times more people.

SBS is working with community leaders, local organizations and Black entrepreneurs to help start-up and grow more Black-owned businesses across the five boroughs. To inform the development of these programs, the City is encouraging Black entrepreneurs to share their voice in an online survey. To take the survey, stay up-to-date on opportunities for feedback and learn more about BE NYC visit nyc.gov/benyc. SBS will report back with its findings and recommendations and begin to launch programs in early 2020.