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NYUL’s Small Business SOLUTIONS Center Impact Report – October 2021

NYUL’s Small Business SOLUTIONS Center

Impact Report – October 2021

The New York Urban League (NYUL) Small Business SOLUTIONS Center (SBSC) serves the critical needs of Black small business owners in NYC who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Small businesses are vital to the continued growth and economic stability in the communities in which they operate. Black-owned businesses are important anchors in our communities and threads in the fabric of our society.


In partnership with the Ford Motor Company, NYUL’s Small Business SOLUTIONS Center kicked off with a Grant program in May of 2021 and awarded unrestricted grants, in the amount of $5,000 to Black-owned small businesses that operate in predominantly Black neighborhoods, located in New York City. Grant eligibility requirements were as follows:

  • Greater than 50% Black Ownership

  • In Business prior to March 1st, 2019

  • Legally Registered Entity

  • Primary business address within the 5 Boroughs of NYC

NYUL partnered with Harlem Business Alliance in Manhattan and Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration in Brooklyn to identify candidates for the small business grant. The Grant Review Committee selected 18 business that were awarded the Small Business Grant. The primary addresses for the businesses selected span across 3 boroughs: Brooklyn (8), Manhattan (9), and the Bronx (1). The businesses selected are in a variety of industries, including food service, personal care, apparel, fitness training, and technical support. There are many common themes amongst these businesses involving the need for funding, still the plans for these funds range from basic operating expenses to business model improvements that will enhance customer experience. Funding was used for:

  • Payment of outstanding rent, utilities, and payroll expenses

  • Inventory and operational equipment purchases

  • Protective supplies to stop the spread of Covid-19

  • Property damage repair

  • Website and customer engagement staff hire

  • Production equipment upgrades to enhance web content and drive online sales

18 Grants Awarded in the Amount of $5,000 Each

In August of 2021, twenty-five (25) businesses joined the Back Office Initiative of NYUL’s Small Business SOLUTIONS Center. Members of this elite inaugural cohort received a unique assessment with the SBSC’s Director who partnered each business with industry professionals to address business challenges such as access to capital, market expansion, strategic partnerships, effective accounting practices, and inserting safety measures. The contracted service provider for each business produced a custom course of action to improve business operation in at least one of the following areas:

  • Marketing

  • Finance

  • Human Resources

  • Technology

  • Business Management

Back Office Cohort #1 Client Demographics

All businesses receiving expert consultant services are located within NYC boroughs; Manhattan: 20, Brooklyn: 4, Bronx: 1. Of the 25 businesses, 21 are owned by Women and 5 owners migrated to the United States from other countries. The list of businesses is comprised of the following industries: Food & Beverage (6), Wellness (5), Apparel & Accessories (4), Beauty (4), Entertainment (2), Other Services (2), Home Décor and Accessories (1), Real Estate (1). Six (6) of the Back Office Clients were previously awarded the SBSC $5,000 grant.

“We are excited to launch this new Small Business Solutions Center and to provide our selected businesses with access to the vast network of resources afforded to our organization in the corporate sector, government and community. New Yorkers wants to see small businesses succeed during these challenging times. By creating collective of media campaigns, directories, and mini-trade shows, we look forward to connecting our small business owners with customers, capitol, and resources they need to survive and thrive."

-Arva Rice, President & CEO of the New York Urban League.

The Back Office Initiative is 3 months in duration and will conclude on November 30th of 2021.

25 Business Granted Consulting Services in the Amount of $5,000 Each

Success Measures: Technology Enhancement, Marketing Plan Implementation, Account System Upgrades, Improve Employee Retention and Recruitment

What’s Next?

Holiday Gift Giving Guide – Release date: November 2021

The New York Urban League Small Business SOLUTIONS Center is the gift that keeps on giving. In November 2021 we will launch our inaugural Holiday Gift Guide featuring products and services from the growing list of NYC businesses we service.

Business Plan Workshop – Begins February 2022: 12-week Training

The Business Plan Workshop will guide potential business owners to turn a dream into a thriving reality. This business plan boot camp will help entrepreneurs launch their goals with confidence and guide them through writing their business plan. The Workshop will cover all business aspects from financials all the way through to marketing.

Back Office Initiative #2 – Spring/Summer 2022

A second round of NYC, Black owned businesses will be recruited, selected, and granted consulting services. The SBCS Director will connect each business to a service provider based on a knowledgeable course of action to address business challenges, prescribed by an advisory board of corporate executives, successful entrepreneurs, and other industry leaders.

Special Thanks To Our Partners:

  • PayPal

  • Valor Equity Partners

  • Door Dash

  • Tito's Vodka

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