SBS Commissioner Kevin D. Kim Celebrates NYC Milestones For Entrepreneurs, Workers, And Neighborhoods

December 21, 2023

Today NYC Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim joined Mayor Eric Adams and other members of the administration at City Hall to celebrate the historic wins and milestones reached after the second year of the mayor’s first term.

“Thanks to the plan laid out in the mayor’s Blueprint for Economic Recovery, 2023 was a banner year in our mission to unlock the economic potential of all New Yorkers,” said SBS Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. “From serving over 80,000 individuals at our 18 Workforce1 Career Centers, to saving $36 million for 3,600 businesses through our NYC BEST team, establishing the landmark $75 million Opportunity Fund, and offering SBS’s dozens of other free programs and initiatives, we’ve made tremendous progress in building a true City of Yes for entrepreneurs, workers, and small businesses.”

Following core pillars of Mayor Adams’ Blueprint for Economic Recovery and the Making New York Work for Everyone action plan, the year saw major investments in New York’s small businesses, entrepreneurs, workforce, and neighborhoods. New York City officially regained all of the private sector jobs it lost during the COVID-19 pandemic more than a year ahead of schedule. More than 282,000 private sector jobs and more than 44,000 businesses — the majority of which are small businesses — have been created since the start of 2022, while one in seven total businesses operating in the city today opened within the last year.

Highlights include:

Landmark Loan Fund to Boost Small Businesses: SBS launched the historic NYC Small Business Opportunity Fund — the largest public-private loan fund directed at small businesses in the city’s history, with flexible terms to eliminate minimum credit score requirements and application fees. Since its launch in January, the Opportunity Fund has awarded more than 900 businesses over $70 million in capital, $55 million of which went to minority or women-owned businesses.


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Navigating Government with MyCity: SBS launched the Business site on the MyCity portal, including the first-in-the-nation AI chatbot for navigating city services. The new AI chatbot serves as a 24-hour executive assistant, saving business owners and entrepreneurs time and money by instantly sharing actionable and trusted information from more than 2,000 NYC Business web pages and articles. The chatbot can answer questions on topics such as compliance with codes and regulations, available business incentives, best practices to avoid violations and fines, and even how to open a business.

Reaching New Yorkers Where They Are: SBS engaged more than 10,000 New Yorkers through the new SBS outreach team, as well as through the innovative SBS Mobile Unit, “Mobie,” which brings SBS resources directly into neighborhoods across all five boroughs. Through Mobie, the outreach team launched its Working People’s Job Tour, promoting upstream economic solutions to prevent crime in neighborhoods affected by gun violence. Additionally, SBS Commissioner Kevin D. Kim joined Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) Manuel Castro for two multilingual immigrant media roundtables to promote economic resources to immigrants in every borough.

Saving Small Businesses Time and Money: Mayor Adams signed into law major reforms stemming from the mayor’s Executive Order 2 “Small Business Forward” initiative, that will reduce fines, create more warning and cure periods, and cut regulations for small businesses across multiple regulatory agencies. SBS’s NYC Business Express Service Team (NYC BEST) also helped 3,600 businesses save a record $36 million through compliance visits and other educational engagement to help businesses avoid fines. SBS also launched the “NYC BEST Boot Camp” to educate small business on navigating government regulations, including the first-ever classes to support street vendors and concessionaires.

Supporting Minority and- Women-owned Businesses: After legislation signed by Governor Kathy Hochul, the Adams administration tripled the total size of discretionary contract awards that can be directed to certified Minority and- Women-owned Businesses (M/WBEs) from $500,000 in 2022 to $1.5 million by the end of 2023. The increase followed SBS’s 15th Annual Citywide Procurement Fair – the largest ever in city history – where the administration announced a record-setting $6 billion awarded by city agencies and affiliated entities in total to M/WBE firms in FY23.

Expanding Resources for Minority and- Women-owned Businesses: During Black Business Month, SBS announced a major expansion of the Contract Financing Loan Fund program that enables the city to provide an additional $50 million in low-interest funding to M/WBEs providing city goods and services. In addition to hosting events led by SBS’s Black Entrepreneurs NYC (BE NYC) initiative to spotlight and serve Black-owned businesses, SBS held the first-ever “Melanin Summit” promoting access to capital for Black-owned businesses with the Black Institute and the Office of City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams.

Making Business Funding More Accessible: SBS launched NYC Funds Finder, a first-of-its-kind online marketplace designed in partnership with Next Street to help business owners and entrepreneurs access small business loans, grants, and financing.

Bringing Free Legal Services to More New Yorkers: SBS expanded free legal services available to NYC’s entrepreneurs with a new partnership between SBS’s BE NYC initiative and Volunteers of Legal Services (VOLS). The partnership connects New York City business owners to one-on-one free transactional legal education, advice, and representation on business formation, contracts, taxes, intellectual property, human resources, and other emergent issues. The partnership adds to SBS’s robust suite of legal services, such as its Commercial Lease Assistance (CLA) program and legal clinics for M/WBEs, which have served over 5,600 entrepreneurs with free legal help since the beginning of the Adams administration.

Protecting Retail: SBS joined Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks III, the Office of Public Safety, the New York City Police Department (NYPD), and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) in establishing a retail theft task force to combat a citywide rise in shoplifting and petty theft. The taskforce engages neighborhood organizations, including Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and merchants associations, as well as law enforcement, national retailers, and labor, to collaborate on upstream, program-oriented solutions to combat retail theft.

Connecting New Yorkers to Jobs: Across the 18 Workforce1 Career Centers, SBS served more than 80,000 New Yorkers looking for work, skills training, and mentorships. In partnership with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), Workforce1 Career Centers provided jobseekers with free financial counseling.

Making Work Accessible to All: SBS and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) established a Center for Workplace Accessibility and Inclusion. The center aims to help New Yorkers with disabilities find career-track employment.

Making New York City the Global Capital for Legal Cannabis: In the last year, SBS’s Cannabis NYC initiative sprang into action to assist hundreds of New Yorkers to apply to launch a cannabis business, including the first-ever series of FastTrac® for Cannabis Entrepreneurs sessions which connects cannabis business owners and entrepreneurs with free, high-quality training and advice proctored by leading players in the legal cannabis industry. The initiative also reached 5,000 New Yorkers through the inaugural “Lift Off! Cannabis NYC Listening and Learning Tour,” and released the Cannabis NYC Loan Fund RFP with a planned initial investment of $8 million. Additionally, Cannabis NYC engaged more than 1,000 unique attendees at Cannabis NYC virtual regulatory and policy workshops, and facilitated Cannabis Growers Showcases across New York City, leading to the first-ever legal cannabis sales in both Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Listening to Small Business Owners and Streamlining Government: In June, SBS released the inaugural report from the Small Business Advisory Commission (SBAC) with eight recommendations to cut red tape, improve business services, and forge a stronger small business economy. That month, SBS also launched its first-ever Latino American Small Business Task Force to promote awareness of SBS resources to the Latino business community, as well as incorporate feedback from local business owners and community leaders.

Celebrating Small Business Excellence: Mayor Eric Adams and SBS Commissioner Kevin D. Kim officially declared May as New York City Small Business Month. The proclamation expanded the traditional week-long celebration of small businesses to encompass the entire month of May, which saw the first-ever NYC Business Improvement District (BID) Day and dozens of community-focused events recognizing small businesses.

Making it Easier to Shop Local: SBS unveiled its Live NYC Map, a comprehensive database featuring a searchable map of small businesses and public-facing locations for every block across New York City. Updated every 90 days, the Live NYC Map is the most accurate, verified snapshot of more than 150,000 storefronts and public places across the city’s landscape to date, and serves as the engine for the city’s Shop Your City website, where New Yorkers can discover and support their local small businesses. New Yorkers can also filter businesses to see those which are women-owned, AAPI-owned, and Hispanic-owned. Additionally, the Shop Black NYC directory exceeded 3,500 individual small businesses listed.

Investing in New York City’s Neighborhoods: SBS awarded over $4.8 million in multi-year grants to 44 Community-Based Development Organizations (CBDOs) to facilitate innovative and community-focused solutions to improve New York’s commercial corridors. These grants included funding for the city’s first-ever Commercial District Lighting projects to design, produce, and install customized and creative lighting projects in neighborhoods across the city. These grants will address neighborhood concerns of insufficient lighting at night while improving public safety and vibrancy in commercial corridors.

Promoting Nightlife: The Office of Nightlife (ONL) officially transitioned from the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME) to SBS, blending expertise in government navigation and both business and workforce development, with the deep community and industry ties of ONL. The transfer of ONL to SBS will connect an industry which creates $35 billion in economic activity, generates $700 million in tax revenue, and supports more than 300,000 jobs additional resources to take NYC’s world-renowned nightlife to the next level.

Making the American Dream Work: SBS launched a new initiative, the American Dream Works program, to connect businesses with work-authorized asylum seekers through SBS’s Workforce1 Career Centers.

The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS)

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 vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information on all SBS services, go to nyc.gov/sbs

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