Assemblymember Blake’s Statement in Celebration of National Black Business Month

August 3, 2018

Realizing dreams by creating jobs and economic opportunities is what makes Black businesses so critical. We take this moment to celebrate National Black Business Month, a month dedicated to entrepreneurship and Black economic empowerment. Entrepreneurship continues to be the economic driver in our communities and the key to unlocking opportunities and promise for many individuals and families. Our vision in supporting Black-owned businesses is realized by increasing access to capital, contracting and counseling.

From our continuous efforts through the "EnVolve" entrepreneurship program to our Being Your Own Boss series supporting local female entrepreneurs, many of whom are of African, Latina or African-American, we’re working to strengthen Black-owned businesses in The Bronx. In The Bronx, the number of African-American business owners was higher than the city average, rising to 13% compared to 3% in all five boroughs. Moreover, immigrants make up 60% of entrepreneurs in The Bronx, signaling our commitment to fostering inclusiveness and diversity in our commercial corridors.

The US Census Bureau reported that there are 2.6 million black-owned businesses nationwide, and while there was a 2.4% increase in Black business growth nationally, New York City was 1 of the largest 25 cities with 500 Black-owned businesses to see a decline in Black businesses. With gentrification, income disparities, unemployment and rapid economic change challenging business owners every day, we must continue to do all we can to support Black-owned businesses as they are critical to improving the economic state of The Bronx and throughout New York City.

Throughout August and beyond, let us all support Black-owned businesses to create jobs, increase economic growth and strengthen communities. Creating a thriving business climate where there is community advancement and sustainability is how we continue #BuildingABetterBronx.

Assembly Member Michael Blake