Harlem Small Business Resource Guide

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The Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center and The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce provide extensive resources for new and small businesses in Harlem.

Small Business Resource Directory

1. Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center

Columbia University 3022 Broadway, 310 Uris Hall New York, NY 10027-6902 – For more information, Phone: (212) 854-6444 | Email Address: sbdc@columbia.edu – Website: http://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/sbdc/

Hrs. of Operation: M – F, 9 AM – 5 PM

If you or your business reside in New York, the SBDC can maneuver you around the obstacles to success.  Among other things, we help our clients:

  • understand the importance of a business plan
  • discover sources of funding
  • prepare for e-commerce
  • identify avenues for exporting goods & services
  • develop marketing plans
  • assess an invention’s viability
  • comply with licensing & regulations

 

2. The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce

200A West 136th Street Harlem, NY 10030 | For more information, Phone: (212) 862-7200  Fax: (212) 862-8745  Toll free: 1-877-427-5364 – Website: http://www.greaterharlemchamber.com/

The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce originally incorporated in 1896 as the Harlem Board of Trade, is now in its third century of continued services to the New York Region in general and the Upper Manhattan area in particular. Our Chamber has served as an anchor of continued stability bridging the periods of urban neglect to the future of urban prosperity. The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce has in the past thirty years particularly focused on the renaissance and revitalization of upper Manhattan. Today, the mission of our Chamber is to improve the quality of life for all of our residents, as well as to develop and attract quality business and professional services.

3. Harlem Business Alliance, Inc.

275 Malcolm X Blvd. 2nd Fl. New York, NY 10027 | For more information, Phone: (212) 665-7010 – Website: http://www.hbany.org/Home.html

HBA serves as an advocate for the preservation and retention of Harlem’s business community.

The Harlem Business Alliance was founded in 1980 by a group of prominent Harlem business leaders who recognized the void that had resulted from years of disinvestment and abandonment in Harlem and the critical need to mobilize the existing businesses and organizations to come together as a collective voice. Incorporated in 1990 as a class 402 501(c)(3) corporation, HBA has worked diligently to establish Harlem as an economically self-sustaining community.

  • Community Economic Development Program
  • Small Business Support Center (SBSC)
  • Harlem Business Economic Summit
  • Annual Business Plan Competition
  • M/WBE Leadership Association Program and Financial Literacy
  • One-to-One Business Counseling Services
  • Power Networking Forums

4. NYC Department of Small Business Services – NYC Business Solutions

361 W 125th St #2 New York, NY 10027 | For more information, email SBS or go to 311 Online. – Website: http://www.nyc.gov/sbs

The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building a fairer economy in neighborhoods across the five boroughs.

Helping Businesses Form and Grow

NYC Business Solutions is a suite of services that help businesses start, operate and expand in New York City. Regardless of the size or stage of a business, NYC Business Solutions can help meet the needs of entrepreneurs and business owners. NYC Business Solutions’ services can be accessed at NYC Business Solutions Centers located in the five boroughs.

Services include:

  • Business Planning to help businesses develop appropriate strategies to reach their business goals
  • Business Courses to teach businesses business planning, computer-based bookkeeping, and marketing skills
  • Financing to help businesses identify lenders, package loan applications, and increase their chances of receiving loans
  • Legal Review of Contracts and Leases with a network of lawyers offering pro-bono services
  • Hiring to provide businesses access to a ready pool of screened job candidates
  • Training Funds to improve the skills of entry-level employees while increasing the profitability of businesses
  • Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprise Certification to help businesses become certified and access assistance related to bidding and procurement opportunities and to technical support through SBS’ Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity.
  • Navigating Government to help businesses understand regulations and meet requirements
  • Incentives to save businesses money as they relocate, expand or make capital improvements

5. Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone

55 West 125th Street, 11th Floor New York, NY 10027 | For more information, Phone: (212) 410 – 0030 – Website: http://www.umez.org/

Mission Our mission is to sustain the economic revitalization of all communities in Upper Manhattan through job creation, corporate alliances, strategic investments, and small business assistance.

Founding History

Upper Manhattan was designated as an urban empowerment zone (Empowerment Zone) under federal legislation authored by Congressman Charles B. Rangel and signed into law by President Clinton in 1994. The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation (UMEZ), which is an independent not-for-profit corporation, was formed in response to the federal empowerment zone legislation. Funding for UMEZ is provided by the federal government with matching amounts from the City of New York and the State of New York. UMEZ’s ongoing operations are not dependent on the extension of the federal empowerment zone legislation, which has been extended periodically, and UMEZ expects to continue to operate if the Empowerment Zone designation expires.

Business Investments

UMEZ supports projects that provide new job creation as well as those that would be under capitalized without our loan capital. Rather than competing with traditional lenders, we tend to augment (or “gap fund”) the level of private capital provided.

Small Business Loans

UMEZ’s Business Resource Investment Service Center, Inc. (BRISC) continues to make loans between $50,000 and $250,000 aimed at small business formation and/or expansion to create local wealth and economic vitality for Upper Manhattan. These loans may be senior or subordinated financing, depending on the other sources of capital for the project, and are set at an affordable interest rate, with flexible terms based on the cash flows, job generation, and level of collateral for the project.

Arts & Culture

The Cultural Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) encourages long-term, permanent change for Upper Manhattan’s cultural organizations. Grants are made specifically to build administrative capacity, support organizational development, and promote sustainability.

Workforce Development

UMEZ’s Workforce Development Initiative has a demand-driven strategy that supports the building of skills and knowledge of residents in a way that responds to the needs and expectations of employers. The initiative provides financial and technical assistance to catalyze employment and training in Upper Manhattan neighborhoods. The goal of the initiative is to facilitate access to quality jobs and career advancement opportunities for unemployed—and underemployed—residents.

Additional Resources

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