Advocacy Participates in a Great Day, Week, and Month in Harlem

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The magic created by Harlem’s past has retained a local community vested in building upon the strong foundation of the neighborhood. In the spirit of continuous, sustainable improvement, Harlem Week began its 38th annual celebration on July 28th, proving that 155th Street to Washington Heights, from the East River to the Hudson, the streets are alive with a distinctive history formed by musicians, restaurants, artists and locals. The spirit of Harlem Week inspired attendees to connect with their community.

With the Festival Santiago Apostol de Loiza a El Barrio kicking off the calendar of events that continued through Thursday August 30th, Harlem Week drew in folks from all over New York to join in the festivities (the “week” actually lasted all month long). The celebration of the arts, history and culture—all while supporting integral small business—made the trip to Harlem more than worthwhile, no matter which borough you call your home.

On August 9th, I was invited to participate in the NYC Business Power Event for Economic Development Day at Columbia University. This day allowed the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, The Christian Times, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, and the Harlem Community Development Corporation to come together to celebrate small business in the Harlem community offering an enriching experience. It’s an environment complete with exhibits, networking and collaborating that brings a variety of sectors together, including food merchants, local shops, aspiring artists, and community groups.

This invitation gave me a chance to talk about the Office of Advocacy and explain my role as Region II Advocate. The attendees were eager to hear about how the office, headed up by Chief Counsel for Advocacy Dr. Winslow Sargeant, identifies issues of concerns through economic research, policy analysis, and outreach to small business owners and trade associations. As small businesses are the predominant economic backbone of Harlem, these events have a significant, supportive impact on the community.

As the Office of Advocacy goes forward, we continue to support small businesses by encouraging policies that foster their growth. We look forward to participating in Harlem Week 2013.

—Teri Coaxum, Region II Advocate

Teri Coaxum is the regional advocate for New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You can reach her at teri.coaxum@sba.gov.

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