Fostering local business growth: Harlem Business Alliance empowers entrepreneurs

The Harlem Business Alliance is making waves by providing a vibrant hub for creativity and entrepreneurship, supporting local business growth in the neighborhood.
“We see it as a way so that businesses are finding ways to make money for themselves,” said Monique Hector, executive director of HBA. 
The nonprofit organization, with over 30 years of experience, offers crucial tools for entrepreneurs to thrive, ranging from business support workshops to one-on-one consultations and accessible spaces for podcast creation and social media content.
“We provide business support workshops, we work directly with the community and different financial institutions, CFIs, so that we can make sure that we’re making connections for our businesses to the institutions that are right in their communities,” said Hector.
One unique feature is the storefront initiative, providing a cost-effective platform for local business owners. Sherifa Gayle, owner of Black N Ugly Clothing, praises this opportunity, stating, “Just being able to literally have a storefront where people are walking past, and they're like, 'That interests me,' and they come inside and learn about the brand. As a business owner, real estate in New York is very, very expensive.”
Gayle says she’s been in business for a decade now and throughout that time has valued HBA's resources. “They gave me a business consultant, it’s just a place you go to when you have questions, and as a small business owner, you may not know the answer,” said Gayle. 
For Maryam Basir, actor and owner of Hibrow, an eyebrow microblading studio, the tools received from HBA facilitated business expansion, creating more opportunities for generational wealth.
“We have to create ideas, businesses that will help pass down through generations, which is why I wanted to start the product line because I wanted to have something that my daughters can actually work on,” shares Maryam Basir.
The HBA has recently launched a $3,000 business pitch competition, providing entrepreneurs the chance to utilize funds for business growth. For more details, visit the HBA website.