THE BRONX (PIX11) — It’s a big time for small shops in New York City. An estimated 94% of all operations are small businesses, according to the NYC Economic Development Corporation. 

May is known as Small Business Month, a time to examine and celebrate the industry and the roles of governments and owners. Amaurys Grullon is the co-founder and CEO of Bronx Native in Mott Haven. 

“I always say the journey is the reward. We need to put our resources together and create solutions,” he said. 

Elected leaders and economic groups are talking about local plans. New York City Mayor Eric Adams held an event on Thursday at a bakery in Queens. 

“Working New Yorkers deserve their fair share, and we are lifting burdens off hardworking New Yorkers so they can get their businesses up and running while simultaneously putting money back into their pockets. We are adding the right ingredients to make small businesses grow in New York City,” said Adams. 

He signed the Small Business Executive Order at the beginning of his term. It is designed to cut red tape and “remove bureaucratic boulders.” 

“In the past 16 months, we’ve slashed bureaucratic red tape and saved millions for small businesses, helped diverse businesses contract with city government agencies at record levels, and launched a $75 million NYC Opportunity Fund, the largest public/private partnership loan fund directed to small businesses in New York City history,” said NYC Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. 

Small businesses have also organized and worked with a network of business improvement districts. 

Fordham Road and Grand Concourse are the city’s busy center of commerce. As a result, the business improvement district is sponsoring the promotions for the month. 

“We want people to spend the money here. We want them to spend it on Fordham,” said Albert Dalipi with Fordham Road Business Improvement District. 

Banks also play a big role in small businesses. For example, they create workshops and administer some grant and loan programs. In addition, local and regional banks focus on individual and small business needs. 

M&T Bank has created local labs for small business owners in NYC and the region. 

“We brought the lab to Harlem where we can connect and engage and uplift the communities,” said David Femi, Senior VP and Head of Multicultural Banking.

During the pandemic, several programs were created by government agencies. While local, state and federal money may be available, owners said the timetables for the programs and money disbursement need to be evaluated.