City partners with EY to provide world-class advisory services to black entrepreneurs

August 19, 2021

NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Jonnel Doris, and Ernst & Young LLP (EY US), today announced Access BE NYC: Advice, a new program to connect black entrepreneurs with world-class technical advisory services and business resources.

Through Access BE NYC: Advice, up to 500 business owners will receive up to four hours of pro bono advice and guidance from EY on financial management, access to capital and understanding and engaging customers. For more information about the program and the application process, visit

“Building a recovery for all of us means giving black entrepreneurs all the tools they need to grow their businesses and serve their communities,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “New York City is proud to bring together free, world-class professional services for the next generation of Black businesses that will keep our city vibrant and our economy moving forward.”

“Black businesses have thrived in New York for centuries,” said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and Co-Chair of the Racial Inclusion and Equity Task Force. “BE NYC Access: Consulting will provide essential services and resources, so Black-owned businesses can pivot and thrive post-pandemic.”

“Black-owned businesses have fought hard to keep their doors open and serve their local communities – and SBS will continue to be a trusted partner for them,” said Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services. “We are delighted to work with EY to provide access to a strong professional network and their advisory services. As the city continues to make great strides towards recovery, the program will enable Black entrepreneurs to adapt their businesses to meet to the city’s most pressing needs and continue to contribute to our economic recovery.”

“At BE NYC, our efforts to unlock the potential of Black entrepreneurs are fueled by industry research, the lived experience of the BE NYC community, and our strategic partnerships,” said Kenneth Ebie, Executive Director and Chief Development Officer of Black Entrepreneurs NYC (BE NYC). “We are extremely grateful for our collaboration with EY, which will help Black business owners connect with the guidance of top business consultants to successfully address the challenges and opportunities presented by our city’s economic recovery.”

“I applaud the partnership with EY which will help Black-owned businesses gain the tools they need to succeed,” said Magalie D. Austin, Director of the M/WBE Mayor’s Office and Senior Advisor. “Black-owned businesses are a vital part of our communities and the city will not fully recover if we don’t support their success.”

According to BE NYC’s landmark report, Advancing Black Entrepreneurship in NYC, less than 40% of Black entrepreneurs reported having adequate access to mentors and advisors in running their businesses. While black-owned small businesses are essential to the fabric of New York City, many have historically been left behind due to limited access to capital and bank loans, predatory credit policies and a lack of banking relationships.

In total, EY will provide a total of 2,000 hours of consultancy. Access BE NYC: Advice is the fourth program launched by the city since 2020 to support Black-owned businesses and close the racial wealth gap, following BE NYC: Startup Intensive, BE NYC Mentors and buy your city: BE NYC. All business owners operating a business in New York’s five boroughs are eligible to apply for the program. The program has been tailored to the challenges of Black entrepreneurs and other underrepresented business owners identified in the BE NYC Advancing Black Entrepreneurship report. To apply, go to

“Black entrepreneurs, with their innovation and vision, contribute so much to our city. Yet too often they lack access to the resources needed to thrive,” said Marcus Odedina, EY Global Customer Service Partner in the US. “By teaming up with BE NYC, our goal is to support black entrepreneurs in New York as they grow their businesses and reinvest in their communities.”

“Marketing, financing, access to capital and technical assistance are all essential to ensure that entrepreneurs can turn their ideas into reality and turn a business plan into a realized opportunity. The new Small Business Services program, BE NYC Access: Consulting, will be a great resource for many of our minority businesses that have been challenged by our ever-changing economy,” said State Senator Leroy Comrie. “I commend Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Doris and all partner entities for forging ties with Ernst and Young to provide technical support, institutional knowledge and, most importantly, mentorship to our corporate-owned business community. Black. Expanding access to professional networks and resources will enable our business owners to recover from the impact of the pandemic and reinvigorate our city. »

“As the person who wrote the laws that created the MWBE program, I understand the enormous amount of resources that a partnership like this brings to the table. Many of these companies were already struggling when they been hit by the pandemic. MWBEs need a lot of things, including business training and access to capital, but on top of that they need technical advisory services to thrive. I look forward to seeing the fruits of the BE NYC Access: Consulting program,” said State Senator James Sanders Jr.

The BE NYC Access: Consulting program will help elevate Black-owned businesses in the city and support a more equitable recovery for all of us,” said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, Chair of the Minority and Women-Owned Businesses Sub-Committee. “This program, which provides technical advisory services and business resources, will help Black business owners build their professional network and access capital. I thank the City and partner organizations for making these opportunities a reality for 500 Black entrepreneurs and bringing us one step closer to closing the racial wealth gap.”

“I have always stood for a level playing field when it comes to economic opportunity for all New Yorkers. This proposal is just another example of how government and private business can strengthen the future success of our city and state. I look forward to working with current and future city administration to ensure this proposal is utilized on the North Shore of Staten Island. noted Assemblyman Charles D. Fall.

“The partnership between the government and private entities like Ernst & Young is essential for black businesses to level the playing field. This will provide access to resources that are not otherwise available to these entrepreneurs,” said Assembly Member Chantel Jackson.

“New York wouldn’t be where it is today without its Black and minority-owned businesses. For too long, Black entrepreneurs have faced unique systemic barriers that have prevented them from accessing the resources they need to launch, scale and thrive, preventing our communities from creating and passing on generational wealth. The BE NYC Access: Consulting program will be a game-changer for so many innovative and ambitious Black entrepreneurs who are critical to our economy and our economic recovery from the pandemic. I congratulate all the partners and stakeholders who made this public-private partnership possible,” said Assemblyman Al Taylor.

“During the pandemic, many Black businesses in our community faced financial instability and lacked access to resources that would help them succeed in these unprecedented times. Implementing this program will give these organizations the tools they need to adapt to an ever-changing, technology-driven business environment. We commend the Mayor and the New York City Department of Small Business Services for BE NYC Access: Consulting,” said Assemblyman Clyde Vanel.

“An entrepreneur is only successful through the strength of their networks. Access to capital – especially intellectual capital – has stymied black entrepreneurs in New York for too long,” said Wole Coaxum, Founder + CEO, Mobility Capital Finance, Inc and BE NYC Cabinet Member. “This exciting initiative creates a systemic framework for our businesses to compete and thrive in today’s challenging environment. BE NYC Access: Consulting reflects a tangible step in the important journey of creating a thriving black business ecosystem here in New York.”

“Minority-owned businesses in the five boroughs have long faced barriers to capital resources and day-to-day financial networks, and the pandemic has only made these inequalities and challenges even clearer,” said Valerie White, Executive Director of LISC NYC. “It’s great news that as New York City begins to recover from this pandemic, crucial funding is being dedicated to connecting Black entrepreneurs with the resources that will help these small businesses compete in the marketplace. We are grateful for the leadership of Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Jonnel Doris and BE NYC Executive Director Kenneth Ebie in launching BE NYC Access: Consulting, and we believe that this investment in entrepreneurs New York’s blacks will unlock opportunity and growth for countless small businesses that form the backbone of our city’s economy.

“I am honored to stand with New York City and SBS in imagining an economy that works for all businesses. The longevity, success and wealth-building power of Black-owned businesses, in particular, requires innovative, data-driven solutions and partnerships such as BE NYC Access: Consulting,” said Karlyn Crockett, professor of urban planning, public policy and history, MIT. “Kudos to all of our partners and stakeholders for pushing our collective actions beyond the transaction and into transformation.”

“The New York Urban League applauds the new Small Business Services – BE NYC Access: Consulting program. As our small businesses strive to pivot during tough economic times, they face complex issues of staffing, capital , marketing, security and technology. Federal and state assets must be navigated and accessible while maintaining day-to-day operations,” said Arva Rice, President and CEO of the Urban League of New York. “EY is a great partner to provide essential advice in these changing times. This public-private partnership is a clear example of how businesses can and should give back to ensure NYC has a strong and sustainable recovery.