Thursday, December 24, 2021


NEW YORK – NYC Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Jonnel Doris announced the winter holiday kickoff for Shop Your City: BE NYC, in partnership with Mastercard, a marketing campaign designed to encourage New Yorkers to shop at Black-owned small businesses across the five boroughs. The campaign will run through February 2022.

The holidays have traditionally been the busiest time of year for small businesses and the National Retail Federation projected an 8.5% to 10.5% increase in sales activity during the holiday months of November and December 2021. Following the 2020 holiday season, where retailers saw a 26.6% increase in online commerce, this collaboration between the City of New York and Mastercard aims to boost the online presence of Black businesses during this important time of the year. Every New Yorker is encouraged to show their support by adding their favorite Black-owned businesses to the online Black business directory at

"As our city continues to recover from the pandemic, we must continue to encourage activity that lifts up our most severely impacted communities," said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. "The Shop Your City: BE NYC holiday marketing campaign will provide a resource for New Yorkers to find and patronize our City's Black-owned businesses during this important retail season."

"Support for our City's Black-owned business advances our overall mission at SBS to provide good jobs, strong businesses and thriving communities," said Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. "With this campaign, the City of New York is continuing our investment in the lifeblood of our communities and our great City."

"We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with Mastercard on this new campaign to highlight our City's Black-owned businesses during this important retail season," said Kenneth Ebie, Executive Director & Chief Development Officer of Black Entrepreneurs NYC (BE NYC). "This campaign, which includes our online Black business directory, will provide marketing support for small businesses and an easy resource for New Yorkers who want to support Black-owned businesses during this winter holiday and beyond."

The campaign will encourage Black-owned businesses to be included in the SBS online Black business directory and urge New Yorkers to support these businesses, starting during this critical holiday season. As part of the campaign, SBS will partner with various community stakeholders to promote the SBS online Black business directory to businesses and consumers.

"As our city and country work to build back better, it is critical that Black businesses are an integral part of the plan. We know that this effort will draw critical attention, support and patronage to brick and mortar as well as internet-based business-to-business enterprises. The New York Urban League applauds SBS and Mastercard for this innovative effort," said Arva Rice, President and CEO, New York Urban League.

"Sustained support for Black-owned businesses is vital to a stronger, more equitable and more diverse New York City." said Fred Dixon, President & CEO, NYC & Company. "NYC & Company is thrilled to amplify the Shop Your City: BE NYC marketing campaign along with our other efforts to spotlight, celebrate and amplify our City's Black-owned businesses."

"We are excited to partner with the city for this much needed campaign! There are some wonderful black-owned businesses we are eager to share with New Yorkers - their continued support is a vital part of creating thriving communities," said Regina Smith, Executive Director of the Harlem Business Alliance.

"Brooklyn is home to more Black-owned businesses per capita than anywhere else in the country, and we have witnesses firsthand their tremendous resiliency as they served our community during the pandemic," said Randy Peers, President & CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. "As consumers, now it's our turn to show support for them by shopping local this holiday season and make a conscious choice to spend our dollars at Black-owned businesses throughout NYC."

"Neighborhoods like Brownsville, Brooklyn, particularly benefit from Shop Your City initiative," said John William Templeton, Co-Founder of the 19th Annual National Black Business Month and Chair of the Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation. "Growing the revenues and employment of Black-owned firms is the most effective method of reviving communities."

In addition to leveraging a network of community-based organizations to engage local small businesses, SBS will initiate a digital marketing campaign featuring videos and editorial content of Black-owned businesses from across the five boroughs highlighting their respective paths. SBS has also partnered with Mastercard to provide incentives to New Yorkers through Mastercard's "In Solidarity" initiative with New York City - a multi-year effort and commitment of $500 million over 5 years to address racial and ethnic inequities in the U.S.

The Shop Your City: BE NYC marketing campaign builds on Mastercard's support of SBS's Black Entrepreneurs NYC (BE NYC) initiative, including the "Digital Doors" e-commerce webinar series, which provides the resources and support unique to Black entrepreneurs seeking to start and scale thriving businesses.

"Supporting small business is always good business. This program is a terrific example of the private sector, government and the community working together to ensure that New York City is inclusive and equitable for everyone, said Wole Coaxum, Founder and CEO of Mobility Capital Finance Inc. and BE NYC Cabinet Member. "As a BE NYC Cabinet member, I couldn't more proud and grateful for this initiative during the holiday season."

"The Shop Your City: BE NYC campaign to promote sales for Black-owned businesses is smart business," said Paul T. Williams Jr., Attorney and Business Strategy Consultant, Co-Founder of Brown Hatchett & Williams LLP and Williams Strategy Advisors, and BE NYC Cabinet Member. "Let's all make a purchase with a Black-owned NYC business this holiday season. It's a great way to support local communities and spread the joy!"

"BE NYC has been an invaluable resource in helping me develop my business," said Allison Dunn, Owner, Hibiscus Brew. "Now with the new Shop Your City: BE NYC Campaign, businesses like mine will have an opportunity to be seen and supported by many. Partnering with BE NYC has been one of the best decisions I've made."

To learn more about the campaign, visit

About the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS)
SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information on all SBS services, go to, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About BE NYC
BE NYC, launched by the NYC Department of Small Business Services in 2019, is a first-of-its-kind model in a major American city to help address the racial wealth gap by empowering Black entrepreneurs. Through strategic public-private partnerships and innovative programs, BE NYC provides pathways to achieve systemic change by providing equitable access to financing, strengthening professional networks and advice, scaling Black businesses for long-term success, and preparing Black entrepreneurs for opportunities in high-growth industries. For more information, visit