The Business Center for New Americans (BCNA) creates a path to self-sufficiency for immigrants & refugees by providing:
- Small business loans
- One-on-one business consulting and training
- Financing & business workshops
- Home buying incentives
- Specialized savings programs for refugees
BCNA is certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) & by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a SBA Microlender and Community Advantage lender.
Many of us on the BCNA team were born in foreign countries so we have first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing immigrants in New York City. We speak 14 different languages and our personal, one-on-one counseling ensures that our clients are comfortable working with us, and can get access to the resources they need to succeed and thrive.
Founded in 1997 and established as an independent Economic Development Organization in 2009, BCNA was originally part of the New York Association for New Americans (NYANA), which was founded in 1949 to resettle World War II refugees.
For two decades, NYANA was the largest refugee and immigrant services agency in the U.S. and assisted more than 500,000 immigrants from 145 countries achieve economic self-sufficiency, social integration and citizenship. NYANA started BCNA with a grant from the American Express Foundation to provide advice to refugees who were interested in starting a business.
Having fulfilled its mission of resettling World War II refugees, NYANA closed its doors in 2008. However, BCNA continued and after three years under fiscal sponsorship from the Fund for the City of New York, became an independent organization in 2012.
BCNA has grown steadily over the years. In 1998, our first year of operation, we made three loans for a total of $30,000. As of September 2019, we have made 3,691 loans, totaling more than $27.3 million. Over 1,700 refugees have participated in BCNA’s Individual Development Account (IDA) Program, investing more than $24 million from savings, matching funds and loans for education, home ownership and small businesses.