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January 01 2010

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Visit Operation HOPE Financial Literacy Empowerment Center in Harlem, New York

Deputy Assistant Secretary Brian McGowen meets with local business entrepreneurs, community leaders and HOPE Board Members to show commitment to regional development

New York—June 22, 2010
— Assistant Deputy Assistant Secretary Brian McGowen visited Operation HOPE’s (HOPE) Financial Literacy Empowerment Center in Harlem, New York to participate in round table discussions with local business and community leaders. The visit included a tour of the facility and the announcement of a $500,000 contribution from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). The grant will go to help train business owners and promote innovation and competitiveness in small business throughout New York City. The regional award aims to help prepare and encourage American growth and success at a local level to improve ailing economies.

The financial contribution to the Harlem HOPE Center will help future entrepreneurs navigate through the oftentimes confusing steps that lead to creating a new business and bolster the already existing Entrepreneurship Training Program. 

The Center has served over 30,000 individuals in the Harlem and surrounding areas since opening its doors in October 2007. To date, the Center has educated and counseled over 2,500 adults in financial literacy, provided small business technical assistance counseling to 308 small businesses and helped individuals obtain over $11 million dollars in mortgage and business loans. HOPE has been active in the New York area and operating a full service center at 2511 Frederick Douglass Boulevard for the last two years.

“Recovering from this global economic crisis is going to take action at the micro and macro levels of our economy,” said Lance Triggs, HOPE executive vice president. “The EDA’s support here will allow HOPE to expand its entrepreneurial and empowerment services here in Harlem to people who, with a little support and encouragement, are the key to a turnaround.”

The U.S. Economic Development Administration has been an active supporter of Operation HOPE since 1999, helping fund the nonprofit’s flagship Inner City Cyber Café in Los Angeles with a $200, 000 grant and in 2002 providing funding to support HOPE’s Small Business Initiative.

The EDA's investment priorities are designed to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout the United States. This foundation builds upon two key economic drivers - innovation and regional collaboration. Innovation is the key to global competitiveness, new and better jobs, a resilient economy, and the attainment of national economic goals. Regional collaboration is essential for economic recovery because regions are the centers of competition in the new global economy and those that work together to leverage resources and use strengths to overcome weaknesses will fare better than those that do not. EDA encourages its partners around the country to develop initiatives that advance new ideas and creative approaches to address rapidly evolving economic conditions.