The city has created a new mobile unit to coordinate different city agencies and deliver services to those who may not be aware of their existence.
The New York City Department of Small Business Services, the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, and the New York City Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit will work in coordination to help New Yorkers get access to job training, tax help and benefits screenings among other services.
On Friday, The city unveiled the new program with its first stop outside the CUP coffee shop in Bed Stuy. Short for “Coffee Uplifts People,” the local storefront is owned by Breakfast Club radio personality Angela Yee.
“What we’ve heard time and again, from residents to entrepreneurs in the city is that they’re too busy to go into city offices wherever it is that they’re located. And they’re too busy to go from one city office to another city office to another. And what we need to do as city government in partnership, is to first think about what are the needs and opportunities and services that New Yorkers need, and then meet them where they are, and deliver those services all at the same time,” Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer said.
The multi-agency approach is a pledge from Mayor Adams’ inclusive economic development program, “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery”. The mobile unit will tour all five boroughs in an attempt to reach different New Yorkers. The mobile unit was purchased five years ago for $400,000. While a schedule hasn’t been released for where and how often the mobile unit will be traveling, a representative from the Mayor’s Office said schedules will be updated and posted to the Small Business Comissions’ twitter page.
“I think this concept of meeting people where they are – and frankly, even if people are in the beginning, not knowing everything that we d – I think it’s important to be consistently out there, that people will feel this perception of, ‘The government and their important resources are actually accessible to us.’ And I think that’s a very important message that we’re sending with our mobile unit,” Small Business Commissioner Kevin Kim said in an interview.
“And if you have a business and you’re trying to figure out a way to maximize things, or even to evolve and grow, make sure to go online and see what resources are available to you. Because when I tell you they have everything, they have everything,” Angela Yee said in an interview. Yee then explained how she asked the Commissioner if the department could provide help with loans and grants, he explained that they already do that. “So anything that you could think of when it comes to starting a small business or, or getting support with your small business, they do have a lot of resources.”