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. ® a N BUSINESS CENTER, FOR NEW AMERICANS 20 Broa ay, Suite 280, New York, NY 10271 « P: 648.725.1378 « F: 646.723.1999 # m Honorable Council Member Rafael Espinal and Honorable Members of the Consumer Affairs Committee. My name is Yanki Tshering and I’m the Executive Director of the Business Center for New Americans (BCNA). | am a Tibetan refugee who in immigrated to the US in 1986. Founded in 1997, BCNA creates a pathway to self-sufficiency for immigrants, refugees, women, and others by providing small business loans, microloans, specialized training, technical assistance and personalized coaching. As of September 30, 2016, BCNA has made 2,680 loans for a total of $16.7 million. We are certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Small Business Administration, Over 90% of our clients are minorities and over 40% are women, BCNA has almost twenty years of experience working directly with street vendors. We provide microloans and specialized training to vendors who are looking to start or expand their street vending businesses. Our staff assists clients with everything from the creation of a business plan, to obtaining the required licenses and permits to operate their business, to help with marketing and general business management. We strongly support the expansion of permits for NYC food vendors. For one thing, vendors who do not have their own permits, but must rent them illegally from others, find it very difficult to formalize and grow their businesses, We often must say “no” to food vendors who seek loans to buy permits on the black market. We cannot justify lending money for such a risky venture, Furthermore, the current permit system makes it nearly impossible for most vendors to accumulate wealth, Most of the money they make each day goes to pay off the permit owner, leaving the vendor always treading water, and never able to swim. If vendors have their own permit, however, the profit can be recirculated in expanding and improving their business. ‘We are excited at the prospect that there may soon be hundreds of new food vendors who are the chance to legalize their business with a permit. We look forward to serving these small business ‘owners with loans and technical assistance to help them each achieve a part of the American dream. T ‘Sy BCMA sa vision of Center for imunity Development fr Neve Americans (CCONA) —business loans, homeownership, and savings