*Reposted from Gotham Gazette. Written by Ethan Geringer-Sameth. (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)*

New York City may be missing an opportunity to stimulate minority-owned businesses and support commerce and employment in marginalized communities, a new report argues.

The number of Black-owned businesses in New York City has grown faster than that of white-owned businesses in recent years, but the former still earn less on average and employ fewer people. While much of the city's effort to support minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBEs) focuses on city contracting, there are few public or private programs aimed at helping successful companies scale up, according to the report from Center for an Urban Future (CUF), a think tank focused on economic mobility. Experts say missing this second step has hampered growing efforts to nurture MWBEs and create more opportunities for workers of color.

Mayor Eric Adams has talked about supporting small businesses, especially those owned by people of color, which have been hit especially hard by the economic crisis. When he released his economic recovery "blueprint" last month, Adams told reporters that meant "providing the tools that are needed to move forward, and it includes expanding on those new businesses that we think should grow in the city." But, while the plan devotes significant space to improving MWBE contracting with city agencies, it includes only a few points on growing small businesses and no comprehensive strategy for helping them scale.

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