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UMEZ Gives 340K to Small Biz

By Jose B. Rivera

The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone gives $340,000 to help small businesses and entrepreneurs in East Harlem. Photo of Ms. Elizabeth Colon receiving ceremonial check from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone

New York, NY (December 28, 2004) - The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation announced the completion of a deal to give $340,000 to the East Harlem Business Capital Corporation. The Corporation will use the money to provide businesses and entrepreneurs in East Harlem with one year’s worth of technical assistance, including loan packaging, business plan development, software training and assistance in obtaining business licenses, permits and certifications. Including today’s grant, the Empowerment Zone has given more than $1.2 million to the Corporation since 2000 to support their business development programs and help capitalize their small business loan fund..

“Our grant provides East Harlem entrepreneurs and businesses the critical tools they need to succeed in today’s economy,” said Kenneth J. Knuckles, the Empowerment Zone’s President and CEO. “Small businesses represent the key economic engine of East Harlem. Their continued success hinges on learning how to plan for the future and then access the capital needed to implement their growth plans.”

The Corporation plans to help 25 local businesses or entrepreneurs in obtaining loans from financial institutions, provide over 1,400 training slots in business plan development and software applications such as Word and Excel, as well as assist in obtaining at least 150 business permits, licenses and other certifications.

“Our business is ensuring the success of local businesses in East Harlem,” said Elizabeth Colon, Executive Director of the East Harlem Business Capital Corporation. “The Empowerment Zone’s support ensures that we can continue offering customized support that address the unique needs of our diverse, entrepreneurial and immigrant community.”

About the East Harlem Business Capital Corporation

East Harlem Business Capital Corporation is a nonprofit community development and financial organization created in 1997 to promote economic development in El Barrio by providing small business owners and entrepreneurs access to capital and business technical services. Over the last five years, EHBCC has achieved certification by the U.S. Department of Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), and as an Intermediary Lender by the U.S. Small Business Administration. In 2001, EHBCC was designated as the NYS Empire Zone Administrator, and recently led a successful effort to expand the boundaries of East Harlem’s NYS Empire Zone.

Its office is located at 2261-63 First Avenue, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10035 (entrance on East 116th Street) and can be reached at (212) 427-6590 or online at http://www.ehbcc.org.

About the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation

The Development Corporation is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to sustain the economic revitalization of all the communities of Upper Manhattan through job creation, corporate alliances, strategic investment and small business assistance. It offers financial assistance to businesses and not-for-profit groups through low-interest loans, grants and, in select cases, equity investments. In addition, businesses located in the Empowerment Zone are eligible for certain tax benefits. The Development Corporation is financed by the New York Empowerment Zone, which was established in 1994 with a $250 million commitment shared equally by the United States government, the State of New York through the Empire State Development Corporation, and the City of New York. The New York Empowerment Zone also finances the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.

Together, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and the New York Empowerment Zone work to reinvigorate the distressed communities of Upper Manhattan by using tax incentives and public funds to attract meaningful private investment. Both organizations work to stimulate economic growth and create jobs in the communities of Central, East and West Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood. For more information about the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, visit http://www.umez.org.

Contact: Aaron Donovan

(212) 410-0030, ext. 234


Marina Ortiz
Marketing Associate
Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone
(212) 410-0030, Ext. 211

Webmaster’s Note:  This article was provided by the Upper Manhattaqn Empowerment Zone.

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