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."