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February 2019.  As we celebrate Black History Month, I like to remember that we immigrants – myself, half of our BCNA team, and most of our clients, not only those who have recently immigrated from Africa – also owe many of the rights and opportunities we take for granted today to the civil rights activists who worked so hard, and sacrificed so much, to right grievous wrongs. At BCNA we understand how important it is for everyone to be able to feel productive, to find community, and be able to earn a living…

Read more here, or download the PDF.

Newsletter Archive

October 2018. We are excited to announce that on September 18, BCNA was awarded an award of $1,020,000 for Fiscal Year 2019, by the US Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. This year the CDFI Fund awarded a total of $202.2 million in awards to 302 CDFIs in order to focus increased lending and investment activity on low-income and economically distressed communities across the nation. BCNA was one of 14 CDFIs to receive over $1 MM…

Read more here, or download the PDF.

March 2018.   Please Save the Date for our 7th Annual BCNA Immigrant Heritage Week Awards.  Business Center for New Americans invites you to join keynote speaker Aline Sara, co-founder of NaTakallam, and Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, to honor outstanding refugee and immigrant entrepreneurs. The event will also feature a panel discussion, moderated by journalist and photographer Nina Roberts…

Read more here, or download the PDF.

February 2018.  Please join us March 7th for “Scaling Up Small Businesses in Queens,” presented by The Center for an Urban Future with the generous support of Santander Bank.  Featuring a panel of Queens-based entrepreneurs and small business experts, this forum will explore how to turn more of Queen’s great small businesses into medium-sized and large businesses.  Borough President Melinda Katz will make opening remarks

Read more here, or download the PDF.

December 2017.   2017 was definitely full of challenges, particularly for an organization whose mission is to welcome Immigrants and Refugees by giving them the tools they need to build their futures in New York.  In spite of the challenges, 2017 was our most successful year ever and we are extremely grateful to all our funders, partners, donors, and friends who made that happen. I am also grateful to the terrific BCNA team for the amazing impact they are having on clients’ lives and New York communities…

Read more here, or download the PDF.

July 2017.  This summer we and our fellow Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), have been busy advocating at all levels of government for continued support for CDFIs. We’ve been doing that by sharing stories of how BCNA and CDFIs throughout the country create opportunities in low to moderate income communities, in communities of color, and for new Americans and refugees…

Read more here, or download the PDF.

April 2017.  Please join us for BCNA’s 6th Annual Immigrant Heritage Week Awards, with Keynote Speaker Sree  Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Office of the City of New York. Now, more than ever, it is important to recognize the contributions immigrants and refugees have made to making New York City great… We are also pleased that our panel discussion – “How Digital Access is Helping Women Entrepreneurs Build Connections – will be moderated by Judy Messina…

Read more here, or download the PDF.

January 2017.  Reaffirming our commitment to Immigrant and Refugees. The recent election compelled many of us to think carefully about what it means to be a patriotic American. For the staff at BCNA, it means working to strengthen all  of our communities in New York City by helping our immigrant and refugee clients to rebuild their lives, start businesses, and contribute to the New York economy…

Read more here, or download the PDF.

October 2016. While summer months often seem slower, this summer and early autumn have been full of new initiatives, new clients, and some very gratifying recognition for BCNA. We were particularly pleased to be honored for our work by one of our close partners, the Lawyers Alliance for New York…   We are also very pleased to announce that the CDFI Fund has approved BCNA for an award of $700,000.  This will allow us to increase access to credit to many more New Yorkers…

Read more here, or download the PDF.

July 2016. You know that having working capital can make or break your business. You also know how hard it can be to qualify for a loan, and the hours it takes to do the paperwork.  That’s why we are now offering Quick-Action Short-Term Loans for business owners like you. These Quick-Action Loans cut through the red tape to get the money you need quickly with an easy pre-qualification process, a quick-decision approval process, and highly competitive/below market rates…

Read more here, or download the PDF.

November 2015. This Thanksgiving our thoughts are with the many people who have been displaced by war and political turmoil. We are so thankful to come to work each day and be part of the process that is helping New Americans join and create strong healthy communities. We never fail to be inspired by the challenges that our refugee clients faced, before coming here, and the determination of all clients to build a better future for their families in the US…

Read more here, or download the PDF.

July 2015. Women and Leadership at the AEO Leadership Forum. One of the fields in which women shine in leadership roles is that of Economic Justice, something which was made abundantly clear at the recent Association for Enterprise Opportunity Leadership Forum in Washington, DC…

Read more here, or download the PDF.

March 2015. As the first hints of Spring are peeking out of the snow, we have some growth of our own that we’re very excited about!  We are growing our available resources for immigrant and female entrepreneurs (including loans and workshops), and we have grown our office space in Jackson Heights as well!  Please drop by to see us there as well as in our Manhattan offices and please save the date – April 24th – for our 4th annual Immigrant Heritage Week Awards program!

Read more here, or download the PDF.

June 2014. Looking back on our 3rd Annual BCNA Immigrant Heritage Week Awards this year, I am gratified by what a stimulating, inspiring program it was, and what a terrific sense of community and of unified purpose there was in the room. It’s truly become an event that our friends, colleagues, and clients look forward to as a way to honor immigrant achievements, reconnect with friends and colleagues, and get inspired to continue to make a difference.

Read more here, or download the PDF.

April 2014.  Three years ago, we created the Bootstrap Entrepreneur Award, given in conjunction with New York City’s Immigrant Heritage Week, to honor a business owner who used a microloan to expand and strengthen a small business enterprise.This year, BCNA is pleased to honor Sonnie Selma, owner of SS African Foods, with this important award…

Read more here, or download the PDF.

November 2013. As Thanksgiving approaches, we have much to be thankful for this year… In fiscal year 2013 we made 290 loans totaling $1.4 million and assisted over 500 client businesses with training and advice.  Additionally, we provided workshops and advice to 64 refugee clients who invested $357,469 dollars…

Read more here, or download the PDF.

September 2013. During these beautiful September days, we are always filled with energy and a renewed sense of purpose!  We look forward to celebrating not only our good news from this summer but reaching new goals this fall helping New Yorkers create new opportunity and financial health.

Read more here, or download the PDF. 

June 2013.  BCNA’s IDA Program Enables Young Refugees to Reduce Student Debt.  Although mortgage debt is still the largest category of debt in the U.S., the amount of debt held by students has recently surpassed both credit card and auto loan debt. Young refugees struggle particularly hard with this burden; while intensely committed to studying hard, working hard, and making a new life for themselves in the U.S., they generally have fewer resources to start paying off the debt.

Read more here, or download the PDF.