City Council Speaker Adrienne E. Adams delivered her second State of the City address in March 2023, in which she highlighted two important proposals sparked by recent research from the Center for an Urban Future: one on expanding economic opportunity for minority-owned businesses and another focused on boosting support for NYCHA entrepreneurs.
Expand NYCHA Resident-Owned Businesses
The Council Speaker announced nine proposals aimed at supporting entrepreneurs living in NYCHA buildings, inspired by CUF’s breakthrough March 2022 report New York’s Untapped Entrepreneurship Opportunity, which urged city officials to boost support for entrepreneurs living in New York City’s public housing. Speaker Adams cited CUF’s data and research findings in announcing the Council’s initiative to increase support for NYCHA residents seeking to start and grow businesses, and the proposals—which were a central part of the Speaker’s 2023 State of the City address—echoed many of the specific recommendations from our March 2022 report.
Increase Support for M/WBEs and Entrepreneurs by Strengthening CDFIs
The Speaker also announced initiatives to develop a central portal for all New York City-based Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and launch an educational campaign targeted toward M/WBEs about “the importance of CDFIs and the resources they can provide.” Additionally, the Speaker highlighted the Council’s role in providing funding to support CDFIs’ outreach and business development efforts, targeted toward underrepresented communities and those with past justice-system involvement. These proposals mirror the recommendations in our December 2022 report, Bolstering Minority- and Immigrant-Owned Businesses by Scaling Up CDFIs, where we called for the city to “create a new capacity building fund for CDFIs,” “help raise the visibility of CDFIs to expand their reach and impact,” and create a “central portal” of CDFIs in New York City.
CUF has published several recent reports on strengthening low-income entrepreneurship and minority-owned businesses, such as Starting Up & Staying Out, No Small Relief: Strengthening NYC’s Most Vulnerable Small Businesses, and Scaling Minority-Owned Businesses: Adapting Cincinnati's Accelerator for NYC.