Harlem Rep. Adriano Espaillat Announces Nearly $2 Million Funding To UMEZ

Today, Representative Adriano Espaillat announced a combined $2.48 million to the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone – UMEZ ($1.826 million).

Business Resource & Investment Service Center ($658k) allocated through the U.S. Treasury CDFI Fund.

UMEZ received the maximum award amount under the Rapid Response program, which was part of a $1.25 billion award to more than 800 CDFIs.


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These funds will help provide flexible support to small businesses in throughout New York’s 13th congressional district to assist with ongoing recovery efforts following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the course of the pandemic, my office worked with hundreds of small businesses from my district, helping owners apply and access funding allocated through federal legislation to help keep businesses open during this time of great need,” said Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ) is a true partner to small businesses in New York City and has been instrumental in the community as a whole helping businesses run and thrive and this funding will help provide a critical investment in the program to continue its efforts to help businesses re-build better and stronger from this pandemic. I am delighted that UMEZ has been recognized as such a valuable community partner and look forward to working with President and CEO Duncan and the entire UMEZ team to continue to support small businesses in the district and help them recover.”

“These federal economic relief funds, a combined $2.48 million—UMEZ $1,826,265 and BRISC $658,000—from the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Rapid Response Program, will enable UMEZ and BRISC to continue to develop the types of programs that further strengthen small businesses in our Upper Manhattan communities,” said Blair M. Duncan, president, and CEO of UMEZ. “We thank Congressman Espaillat and his team for quickly assisting us to navigate the U.S. General Services Administration’s registration process, so UMEZ and BRISC could apply for these federal funds designed for communities like ours. His office’s responsiveness enabled us to submit under a tight deadline.”

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

Through its programs, UMEZ has facilitated economic support and development in the neighborhoods of Central, West, and East Harlem; Washington Heights; and Inwood.

Representative Espaillat is the first Dominican American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and his congressional district includes Harlem, East Harlem, West Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill and the northwest Bronx.

First elected to Congress in 2016, Representative Espaillat is serving his third term in Congress. Representative Espaillat currently serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Committee on Appropriations responsible for funding the federal government’s vital activities.

He is also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), where he serves as the Second Vice-Chair and is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, where he serves as Deputy Whip.

Representative Espaillat also currently serves as a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at https://espaillat.house.gov/.

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