Thursday, February 18, 2021



Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Jonnel Doris today announced Shop Your City: BE NYC, a targeted campaign to encourage New Yorkers to shop from the city’s Black-owned businesses.


“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every small business in our city – but our Black businesses have been hit especially hard,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “BE NYC is part of our commitment to create a recovery for all New Yorkers and help our small businesses succeed in this pandemic and beyond.”


“Black businesses have taken a tremendous hit because of this pandemic. BE NYC, the City’s first initiative to fight the racial wealth gap, will continue to find new and creative to support these businesses," said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives J. Philip Thompson. "The Shop Your City: BE NYC campaign will urge New Yorkers to shop local and help our small businesses come back stronger than ever.”


“Black businesses aren’t just places to purchase goods and services. They serve as cornerstone centers for communities across the City and resource hubs to share critical information with neighbors,” said Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Now more than ever, shopping locally can make or break a business. Shop Your City: BE NYC, will encourage New Yorkers to shop at local Black-owned businesses during Black History Month and beyond.”


Launching during Black History Month, Shop Your City: BE NYC is a targeted campaign that aims to generate attention and support for Black businesses – which constitute 3.5% of all businesses in New York City. The Shop Your City: BE NYC campaign will:

  • Spotlight Black businesses on social media that have continued to operate and serve their communities throughout the pandemic.
  • Post online resources to help New Yorkers discover and shop at the City's Black-owned small businesses.
  • Encourage New Yorkers to tag a small Black-owned business they’re supporting, using our Instagram story template.


In addition to the campaign, SBS will host a Black History Month roundtable event on February 25, highlighting past and present examples of resilience, resourcefulness and reimagination within the Black business community and overall lessons for NYC’s economic recovery.


Studies show that Black businesses have been severely impacted by the pandemic and are twice as likely to shut down during the pandemic. Black businesses as a whole saw a 41 percent decrease in business activity between February and April of 2020 alone. BE NYC, a first-of-its-kind model in a major American city to help address the racial wealth gap, is actively working to address the needs of struggling Black business owners during the pandemic and beyond.


For more information on the Shop Your City: BE NYC campaign visit

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