Mission

The Business Center for New Americans (BCNA) creates a pathway to self-sufficiency for immigrants, refugees, women, and others by providing small business loans, microloans, specialized training, technical assistance and personalized coaching.  BCNA is fulfilling the American Dream of inclusion by building wealth through business development & expansion, savings and homeownership for low to moderate income immigrant and female entrepreneurs.

The Business Center for New Americans is certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by the US Department of the Treasury and a SBA Microlender by the  Small Business Administration (SBA).

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

In addition to providing microloans and small business loans to start-up and grow businesses, BCNA offers a variety of classes and extensive one-on-one consulting. Our staff assists clients with everything from the creation of a business plan, to obtaining the required licenses and permits to operate their business, to help with marketing and general business management.

SAVING MONEY

Having a "cushion" of money saved and available to fund temporary cash needs is essential to financial self-sufficiency. BCNA educates clients about the long-term benefits of sacrificing in the short-term to save, and about the mechanics of saving money. 

Refugee clients in the IDA program specify how much they'd like to save for either a small business venture or towards the down payment of a new home.  Once they meet this savings goal and successfully complete a series of financial education classes, clients are given a tax-free matching grant which doubles their savings account. 

HOME OWNERSHIP

BCNA offers its clients education and 3 special savings program designed to help them towards the purchase of their first home.

  • The HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program is sponsored by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development to help low-income New Yorkers purchase their first home.
  • The Individual Development Account (IDA) is offered by the Office of Refugee Resettlement to incent refugees to save towards a first home, or fund a business.
  • The First Home Club Matched Savings Program is a Federal Home Loan Bank of New York program to help New Yorkers save towards the purchase of a home.

FINANCIAL EDUCATION

Giving families and individuals the tools to achieve their financial dream isn't enough. BCNA provides a wide range of financial education seminars to educate our clients - and workshop attendees - about the financial options they have in NYC. Topics covered include:

  • Understanding your credit report
  • Setting a budget and sticking to It
  • How mortgages work

BCNA STAFF

The staff at BCNA is devoted to helping our fellow New Yorkers; many of us are immigrants ourselves and able to communicate with clients in their native languages. With first-hand knowledge of the unique challenges confronting immigrants in NYC today, our staff provides hours of personal service to help ensure that our clients are comfortable working with us, and have the resources they need to succeed.