Click here to download it.
Grant Will Expand Microloans to Queens Residents
New York, NY – Feb. 6, 2012- Business Center for New Americans (BCNA) has been awarded a grant of $60,000 by Citi Community Development to continue its expansion of delivery of microloans to low and moderate income entrepreneurs in the borough of Queens.
The grant will support on-the-ground outreach; the delivery of workshops on access to credit for small businesses; and one-on-one counseling that will help low to moderate income entrepreneurs qualify for loans offered by BCNA's Microloan Fund as well as by other financial institutions. The outreach will be conducted in collaboration with the Queens Public Library system, economic development organizations, and various community organizations which serve the diverse population of Queens.
BCNA's clients have benefited enormously from BCNA's partnership with the Queens Public Library. Four well-attended workshops on "How to Start & Run a Successful Business" have already been held in the Queens Library in Flushing and will be offered next at the Jackson Heights branch. The sessions, which are organized by BCNA staff members Maria Paulino and Dong Tran, are offered in English, Chinese, and Spanish.
The expansion of services by BCNA staff is being spearheaded by BCNA Board members Jill Kelly, Deputy Regional Director, NY Tri-State Region, Citi Community Development; and Bryan Pu-Folkes, Partner at Law Offices of Bryan Pu-Folkes. Ms. Kelly is a well known advocate and supporter of the non-profits that provide critical social service and microenterprise development services to residents of Queens. In addition she has many years of experience in neighborhood revitalization and providing advice and support to asset development programs for low to moderate income families. Mr. Pu-Folkes, who lives and works in Jackson Heights, founded the New Immigrant Community Empowerment, Inc. (NICE), an immigrant service and advocacy organization; and the Community Journal Legal and Education Fund, an initiative in Queens which publishes a bilingual Spanish- English newspaper and sponsors community workshops and programs including Jackson Heights Film and Food Festival. Mr. Pu-Folkes serves on the board of the Center for the Integration and Advancement of New Americans (CIANA), a not-for-profit social services agency that serves new immigrants in New York City, and that has three offices in Queens, in Astoria, Jackson Heights, and Jamaica.
"Citi is committed to assisting small business expansion and growth," said Jill Kelly, Deputy Regional Director, NY Tri-State Region. "The Business Center for New Americans is a terrific partner and a very strong advocate for small business development throughout New York City. By providing funding to the Business Center for New Americans, we are ensuring that small businesses in Queens are getting the necessary resources and technical expertise they need."
"We appreciate Citi Community Development's support for our programs that help immigrants to this country achieve their American Dream," added Yanki Tshering, Executive Director of the Business Center for New Americans. "Our program serves as a resource for information, technical assistance and funding that helps these newcomers with the tools they need to start their own businesses."
$50,000 Citi Contribution Supports Financial Inclusion for Underserved New Yorkers
New York, NY – June 30, 2011 - The Business Center for New Americans (BCNA) announced today that it has received $50,000 in funding from Citi Community Development to expand its delivery of microloans to low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs in the borough of Queens. The microfinance funding will support in-person outreach; workshops on access to credit for small businesses; and one-on-one counseling to help low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs qualify for loans offered by BCNA's Microloan Fund and others. The outreach will be conducted in collaboration with the Queens Public Library system and various economic development and community organizations that serve the diverse population of Queens.
"We are proud to help immigrants to this country live their American dream," said Yanki Tshering, Executive Director of the Business Center for New Americans. "Our program serves as a resource for information, technical assistance and funding that helps these newcomers with the tools they need to start their own businesses."
Since its inception in 1998, BCNA's Micro-enterprise Development Program has disbursed over $8 million in microloans (with a loan loss rate of 5%). Each year, BCNA assists more than 450 businesses at various stages of development with lending products, training, and technical assistance.
"Small businesses are the driving force behind economic recovery and growth, and it's a priority at Citi to support initiatives that provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources they need to be successful," said Jill Kelly, Deputy Regional Director, New York-Tri-State Region, for Citi Community Development. "Citi's innovative and scalable financial inclusion programs are helping New York City's entrepreneurs get started, grow their businesses and thrive. We are delighted to sponsor BCNA's microloan expansion in Queens."
Since 1996, BCNA's Micro-enterprise Development Program has been instrumental in assisting hundreds of immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs. Clients are provided technical assistance and classroom training in small business management, marketing, product development, fiscal management and legal compliance. Those who are in need of cash assistance to start or expand their business are also encouraged to devise a suitable business plan with BCNA staff. Upon completion, clients become eligible to apply for loans ranging from $500 to $35,000.
In addition to the Micro-enterprise Development Program, BCNA also operates the largest Individual Development Account program for refugees in New York State. Of the 1,111 low-income refugee families who participated in this program, 477 families invested a total of $4 million (from savings, matching funds from the program, and loans) into micro-businesses.
The Business Center for New Americans (BCNA) helps refugees, immigrants, and women to achieve economic self-sufficiency and security. We do this through the on-going education and counseling of our clients to help them successfully establish and run small businesses, save money, and invest in assets like their first home. The programs at BCNA are funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the Small Business Administration (SBA), Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), Capital One Bank, Citi Community Development and the Citi Foundation. BCNA is a U.S. SBA Intermediary Lender and a CDFI.
Citi Community Development
Citi Community Development (CCD) is leading Citi's commitment to achieve economic empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and communities by expanding access to financial products and services, and building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Our focus areas include: commercial and philanthropic funding; innovative financial products and services; and collaborations with institutions that expand access to financial products and services for low-income and underserved communities. For more information, please visit www.citicommunitydevelopment.com.
For further information, contact Yanki Tshering at 212-898-4112.
Crain's New York review of NYC Microlenders. February 6, 2011: http://bit.ly/fWC9gM
Profile of BCNA client Dr. Leonid Isakov in the Institute for Social and Economic Development blog: http://bit.ly/hfANof
BCNA's IDA Program Officer, Francess Smith, featured in the Institute for Social and Economic Development blog: http://bit.ly/gp7G4h
Wall Street Journal Online article on the impact of the Small Business Administration's use of Stimulus Program dollars. August 11, 2010: http://on.wsj.com/bLd34n
Read the inspiring story of how BCNA helped a foreign-born New Yorker set up his medical practice - and buy a home. Proof that the American Dream is alive and well!