I Bike Harlem Wins HBA’s 6th Annual Biz Plan Comp

bplan winner edit outside

The Harlem Business Alliance (HBA) is proud to announce the winner of its Sixth Annual Business Plan Competition.  

It was another exciting year for our business plan competition!  We received strong, innovative plans from diverse fields. Business plan submissions were reviewed by members of the Judging Committee and narrowed down to six finalists. Our finalists gave their elevator pitches to the Judging Committee, and the winner was selected. The grand prize was awarded to Maxine Daniels, creator of I Bike Harlem.

I Bike Harlem is a bike tour operator offering guided “Bike and Bite” tours throughout Harlem.  This tour will offer riders a guided multi-decade history explore Harlem’s history from its founding in 1658 to today.  I Bike Harlem plans to expose the influx of tourists and other visitors into Harlem neighborhoods, to its dynamic history, promoting support of local business and landmarks.

Ms. Daniels spoke of her experience, “Winning this competition was the affirmation I needed to know that this business will definitively succeed. The business plan competition gave me the deadlines to get the business plan done.  It feels good that other people believed in I Bike Harlem as well.

Maxine plans to use the $5,000 prize money to complete her website and begin her marketing strategy. She plans to open the business for tours in April 2015.

The competition’s participants needed to meet the following requirements; be at least 18 years old and a legal resident or U.S. citizen; live in Upper Manhattan and have an interest in establishing a for-profit start up business in Harlem; or be an owner of an operating for-profit business located in Upper Manhattan with maximum annual gross revenues of $500,000.

If you are interested in receiving one-on-one assistance with your business plan or loan packaging, please call HBA’s office at 212.665.7010 or email bharte@hbany.org.

Congratulations again to our winner!

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

HBA Staff and Board Updates

After years of unparalleled service as HBA’s Financial Director, Lisa S. Jones, has moved on.  Ms. Jones has been an integral part of HBA for over 10 years. We would like to thank her for years of service and dedication to HBA and the Harlem community.

HBA would like to introduce Brenda Buksha our new fiscal director. Ms. Buksha previously worked for Lacoste and De Beers. We are happy to have her on the team.

We also welcome two new members to HBA’s Board of Directors, Adrianne C. Smith, AdHere Network and Mark A. Samuel, Samuel Realty.  Adrianne is the Managing Partner of the AdHere Network an affinity/relationship marketing and video production firm.  Mark A. Samuel is the sole proprietor of Samuel Realty, LLC, a full service real estate brokerage and property management company based in Harlem, New York.

We look forward to working with our new financial director and board members to continue to providing the Harlem community with excellent business development services.

Become M/WBE Certified and Expand Your Company’s Revenue Prospects

Visit www.nyc.gov/getcertified and download an M/WBE certification application. If you need assistance with completing the application, the Harlem Business Alliance offers free classes or individual sessions.

For one-on-one assistance with the certification process, please contact Jules Webster at 212.665.7010 or by email at jwebster@hbany.org to schedule an appointment with a certification specialist.

HBA’s 33rd Annual Awards Celebration

The Harlem Business Alliance is proud to announce its 33rd Annual Awards Celebration on Thursday, November 7, at MIST Harlem from 6pm to 8:30pm. The celebration recognizes the achievements of notable business leaders and members of the Harlem Community.

This year’s HBA honorees are Edward Myers, Esq.Partner at Myers, Smith and Granady, recipient of the Chairman’s Award; Curtis Archer, President of the Harlem Community Development Corporation, recipient of the Government Service Award; Clayton Banks, President of Ember Media, recipient of the Business Person of the Year Award; Rev. Reginald Williams, Director of ARC Foundation Inc.,  recipient of the Community Service Award; Geoff Flournoy & Meredith MarshallOwners of BRP Development Corporation, recipient of the Entrepreneurs of the Year Award; and Dr. William Seraile, Professor and Author, recipient of the Percy E. Sutton Award.

The celebration begins with a reception at 6pm, followed by the awards ceremony and culminating with networking and dessert. Sponsorships are available in three categories, Title Sponsor ($10,000), Benefactor ($5,000) and Supporter ($2,500). Individual tickets are $150. Journal ads are priced from $100 to $1000.

Maurice Grey, Partner of the Edward Sisters’ Realty Association, is the HBA Awards Celebration Chairperson. Event Sponsors include Columbia University, the NYC School Construction Authority, TD Bank and City College of New York.

You can purchase tickets here. For more information on  sponsorship & advertising opportunities please email Brittany Harte at bharte@hbany.org or call our office at 212.665.7010.

10th Annual Harlem Business Economic Summit – “Growing Harlem’s Economy through Entrepreneurship”

On Monday, September 23, 2013, the Harlem Business Alliance, leadership, HBA members, elected officials, lenders and over 250 entrepreneurs gathered together at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for HBA’s 10th Annual Harlem Business Economic Summit.

This year’s program consisted of multiple presentations and a networking reception. HBA assembled leaders in the field of Technology, Marketing, Social Media and Finance to participate in TED style presentations on Insight, Innovation and Implementation. There were some great speakers that presented this year; Ali Abdullah of Players2Fans (featured in Black Enterprise), Akil Bello of Bell Curves (featured in The Network Journal), Hank Williams of Kloudco (featured on CNN) and many more.

New this year, HBA’s Summit was held in the evening from 5:30PM – 9:30PM. The event was free. Summit sponsors included Columbia University, NYC School Construction Authority, Verizon, The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Harlem Community Development Corporation, and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone.

Click here to view pictures from the event.

Small Business Support Center


In 2012, HBA began it’s Back Office Support Initiative (BOSI) to to address the needs and long-term sustainability of small growth potential entrepreneurs. This March, we opened of one of the key components of this initiative, the Small Business Support Center (SBSC). With this new expansion HBA will provide professionally designed and managed back office and business management support, using a “training while doing” approach, to firms and entrepreneurs that have a vision to succeed, the ambition to try, and the need for hands-on assistance.


SBSC Services include hands on bookkeeping, payroll, and budgeting assistance, smart taxation and insurance advice, strategic planning and realistic goal setting, learn more.


HBA is also offering affordable co-working space:


2013 General Membership Networking Meeting

General Membership Meeting
       On May 21, 2013 the Harlem Business Alliance’s Board of Directors, members and administrative staff gathered at Sylvia’s Restaurant for the yearly General Membership Networking Meeting. This year attendees were joined by the candidates for Manhattan Borough President. Council Member Robert Jackson, District 7; Council Member Gale Brewer, 6th District; Julie Menin, former Chairperson of Community Board 1; and Council Member Jessica Lappin, 5th District introduced themselves, their backgrounds and presented their qualifications. Each candidate also discussed their plans to ensure preservation and growth of NYC’s small businesses. Bernard Warren, HBA’s Board Secretary, led the discussion.
         Members also had the opportunity to network with fellow HBA members and the special invited guests. All attendees were invited to visit HBA’s new Small Business Support Center after the close of the meeting.

         For those who did not receive an invitation and wish attend next year’s meeting please contact our office at (212) 665-7010 regarding membership.

         Click here to view more pictures  from the event.

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