NEW YORK – Verizon is a longstanding partner of small businesses in New York City (NYC), and in 2023 the company has invested $400,000 to advance small business digital inclusion and help entrepreneurs thrive.
According to the NYC Economic Development Corporation, 29 percent of city households lack broadband access, with similar gaps in mobile connectivity, affecting approximately 1.6 million residents. These barriers impact small business owners who need the skills and resources to succeed in an increasingly digital economy.
As part of Verizon’s commitment to closing the digital divide for small businesses, the company granted a total of $250,000 to innovative local organizations this year, including:
- Staten Island Economic Development Corporation
- Greater Jamaica Development Corporation
- James Beard Foundation
- Fordham Road BID
- New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce
These partnerships uplift local neighborhoods through a range of small business assistance and workforce training programs.
Additionally, Verizon announces a $150,000 award to the Five Chamber Alliance for the NYC Small Business Digital Inclusion Program. The partnership is part of the Verizon Forward Community Enhancement Award, a $1 million national initiative equipping communities with the tools to navigate an increasingly technological world.
The NYC Small Business Digital Inclusion Program supports entrepreneurs in underserved communities with technology literacy skills and innovation programs to support the growth and sustainability of their small businesses. The Five Chamber Alliance is a chamber of commerce collective providing small businesses with free technical assistance. The Alliance includes the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Queens Chamber of Commerce and Staten Island Chamber of Commerce.
“Thank you, Verizon, for this generous award to New York City’s small business owners. This announcement will go far to close the digital divide that’s prevented so many entrepreneurs across the five boroughs from competing in today’s digital economy. We look forward to continuing to partner with Verizon now and into the future to advance digital equity and make New York more accessible,” said Lisa Sorin, President of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of the Five Chamber Alliance.
“At Verizon we believe that small businesses are essential for fostering economic growth, community cohesion and cultural pride,” said Tony Lewis, Vice President of Public Policy for Verizon. “Through our Citizen Verizon responsible business plan, we have a goal of supporting 1 million small businesses with the resources they need to thrive in the digital economy. We are committed to listening to and meeting communities where they are by partnering with innovative organizations to deliver the tools and skills that can drive meaningful change for businesses and help them succeed.”
To learn more about Verizon’s Digital Inclusion efforts, visit CitizenVerizon.com.
Verizon Business supports and works with small businesses in their local communities every day, offering a range of products that allow for the connectivity, collaboration, cybersecurity and cloud applications that enable small businesses to thrive. Find out more on verizon.com/smallbusiness.