Love Your Local

In February 2017, the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) launched the first phase of NYC Love Your Local, a $400,000 marketing campaign to celebrate the city’s independent, small businesses and encourage New Yorkers to shop locally. Ads aimed to encourage New Yorkers to shop at independent neighborhood businesses and asked them to share their favorite small business on an interactive, online map so that these businesses could be discovered by other friends and neighbors. Once shared, businesses were prompted to apply for grants during the second phase of the initiative. New Yorkers were also encouraged to share why they love their favorite local business on social media by using the hashtag #LoveYourLocalNYC.

Urbane Development was selected as a small business consultant for the second phase of this initiative, a $1.8 million application-based grant-funding and expert advice program for up to 50 selected businesses to address neighborhood changes including rising real estate costs. Longstanding, non-franchise small businesses from across the five boroughs applied to receive an Initial Business Needs Assessment which evaluated their finances and operations utilizing a standardized rubric. Urbane evaluated multiples businesses in Brooklyn and The Bronx on factors including availability of financial records, inventory controls, sales tracking, payroll records, product and labor cost, net profit margin and willingness to make suggested changes. Among the variety of businesses assessed included Ghanaian and Haitian restaurants, an Italian wine store, a Senegalese Halal grocery and butcher shop, auto repair shops, a Pilates studio, an orthodontist, a community theater, a security firm and the largest micro-brewery in the Bronx.

Based on submitted scores and feedback from Urbane and other consultant evaluators, SBS will select up to 20 awardees to receive a further 20 hours of in-depth consulting for business improvement projects and up to $90,000 of funding on areas including: improving operations, recruiting and training employees, updating technology, enhancing the business location or improving financial management. Urbane will provide technical assistance to Bronx and Brooklyn businesses selected as finalists of the program.

Summer 2019 Update:

To date, two rounds of finalists have been selected. Urbane is working with current grantees, providing tactical technical assistance across multiple small business sectors:

Round 1 Finalists: Accra (Restaurant), Grandchamps (Restaurant), Shoe Market (Apparel)

Round 2 Finalists: Red Table Catering (Restaurant/Catering), Star Security Group (Workforce Development), Brooklyn Music Factory (Arts/Education)

Explore the full Love Your Local website here.