June 27, 2023

BE NYC Unveils Enhanced Black-Owned Business Directory

The Black community makes up over a fifth of New York City’s bustling population but accounts for just 2% of its small business owners.

This Juneteenth, the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) unveiled its enhanced directory of Black-owned businesses, Shop Black NYC.

Shop Black NYC: An Online Business Directory

Spearheaded by SBS’s Black Entrepreneurs NYC (BE NYC), the directory has grown to showcase over 3,300 Black-owned businesses since its launch in 2022. The online directory allows users to search for businesses based on product or service, industry, borough, or ZIP code.

BE NYC’s Executive Director & Chief Development Officer, Kenneth Ebie, was tasked with creating the comprehensive list of businesses featured in the directory.

“Knowledge is power,” Ebie said in a statement ahead of the city’s Juneteenth celebrations. “With Shop Black NYC, we are empowering all New Yorkers with access to information on over 3,300 local Black-owned local businesses that they can support during this important holiday and throughout the year.

Supporting Black entrepreneurship

Black entrepreneurs continue to face several challenges when starting and growing their businesses: access to capital, lack of business background and reliable resources, finding customers, affordable workspace, and networking.

Ebie explained that the benefits of Shop Black NYC extend beyond consumer awareness. “Equally importantly, listed businesses will benefit from a direct pipeline of valuable information and business resources available from SBS, supporting their ability to survive, thrive and continue to enrich the fabric of our great City.”

Credit: BE NYC

The Shop Black initiative has garnered support from various stakeholders who recognize its positive impact on the community, entrepreneurs, and the general economy.

“When we support our Black-owned small businesses, we support the entire City,” said Kevin D. Kim, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services in a statement.

“The Shop Black NYC directory serves to boost Black entrepreneurship by encouraging New Yorkers and tourists alike to shop Black and shop local, which in turn allows our neighborhoods to grow and prosper as new businesses take root.”

Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres Springer added, “When we elevate our Black businesses we encourage other Black entrepreneurs to follow their dreams and invest in their communities.”

Samara Linton

Community Manager at POCIT | Co-editor of The Colour of Madness: Mental Health and Race in Technicolour (2022), and co-author of Diane Abbott: The Authorised Biography (2020)