A Healthy Response to Gentrification

Ensuring that everyone has the ability to participate in the economic growth in their neighborhoods.  

Many lower-income neighborhoods throughout NYC are being transformed as businesses and people with higher incomes are moving in. 

The changing demographics, character, and new investments in Crown Heights, Bed-Stuy, Harlem, China Town and other neighborhoods like them throughout NYC have resulted in higher prices, forcing long-standing business owners and residents to have to relocate or quickly adapt as their neighborhoods change.

We believe that long-standing businesses and residents in gentrifying neighborhoods should be able to take advantage of the economic growth happening in their neighborhoods, but they need to be able to compete and have access to resources to do so.

As we observed the changes happening throughout NYC, we asked ourselves:  

How do we ensure that businesses that have been in these neighborhoods for decades and have given these places character and economic value has what it takes to compete and survive in a changing neighborhood? 

How do we ensure that long-standing residents and marginalized groups have the opportunity and resources to start businesses, invest and partake in the economic growth happening in their neighborhoods? 

How do we ensure that the economic growth happening in neighborhoods throughout NYC is not just for a select few?  

How do we ensure that new businesses and residents that are making lower income neighborhoods their new home, respect and are sensitive to the culture, businesses, and residents that have been there for years?  

There are many solutions to these very important questions and many people and organizations that are already doing something about it.

We created this short documentary, a Healthy Response to Gentrification, to get the perspective of businesses and residents in Crown Heights, Brooklyn on how they are taking advantage of the economic changes happening in their neighborhood and protecting their culture and legacy in process. (This documentary is in loving memory of Fred Powell from Barbab's Flowers)  

What do you think are some healthy and viable solutions to the impact that gentrification is having on long standing businesses and residents in neighborhoods throughout NYC? 





    How do you define an entrepreneur?


    We started our 4th “Becoming an Entrepreneur ” course for NYC creatives with the Actors Fund

    This is how 15 NYC creatives defined entrepreneurship. 

    An entrepreneur is a visionary who takes risks in pursuit of establishing a sustainable business, that meets a need through innovation.
    — Cohort 4 - The Creative Entrepreneurship Project

    How do you define an entrepreneur? 

    Creating a sharable business


    The quickest way to build your NYC audience is by tapping into other people's audiences and empowering them to share your message. 

    To do that you must create a shareable business, including:

    1. Creating a shareable product/service
    2. Creating shareable experiences
    3. Creating shareable content
    4. Empowering others to share your message
    5. Sharing your message in the right places

    Create shareable products, experiences, and content by:

    • Focusing on what you do BEST only and get rid of everything else. 
    • Innovating around the buying motivations of your audience. 
    • Delighting and surprising your audience throughout their experience with your company
    • Being relatable, authentic and sometimes outrageous. 

    How this life coach gets into the press: Pervis Taylor III

    Pervis Taylor - Pitch the press

    Pervis Taylor III is an NYC based life coach, author, and speaker. Over the last several years, Pervis Taylor has been featured in over a dozen media outlets, including Essence magazine, Black Enterprise, Fox News, The Today Show, Vibe Magazine, BET, Centric and Arise 360 to name a few

    We asked Pervis to walk us through the steps he took to get one of his first features in Black Enterprise.

    Pervis Taylor III Steps  

    1. Identify the media outlets you want to be featured in.
    2. Research the contact information and work of every editor.

    3. Create and pitch your story via email.

    4. Be persistent and follow up.

    5. Land the write-up. 

    6. Maintain the relationship. 

    7. Secure more write-ups. 


    Pervis Taylor III Resources

    • Email service (gmail)  

    • Social media (twitter) 

    • Character & skills (research, copywriting, followup, persistence) 

    1. Identify the media outlets you want to be featured in

    In order to build brand awareness and attract more clients, Pervis created a goal to either be a contributor or be featured in media outlets that his target audience read and trusted. His first step in accomplishing his goal was to make a list of all the media outlets he wanted to be in. One of the names he added to his list was, Black Enterprise because he noticed that a lot of his followers on social media (twitter) were sharing articles from there.

    2. Research the contact information and work of every editor

    When his followers on social media would share articles from Black Enterprise, he would read them to see who the editor of the articles were and study their work. Pervis researched the contact information of one of the black enterprise editors who articles matched the work he did. He found the editor's email address on the black enterprise website.

    3. Create and pitch your story via email

    Pervis created a short and to the point email that outlined, 1) who he was  2) what he did as a life coach 3) the impact his work was having on his clients and different communities 4) links to his other media features/mentions  5) his ask of being a contributor for the black enterprise 6) At the top of his email he also referenced and complimented the editor on the articles she had written in the past for the publication.

    Publications like Forbes, Huffington Post, and Black Enterprise are always looking for niche contributors. Pitch your Niche.
    — Pervis

    4.  Be persistent and follow up

    A few weeks had passed by and pervis had not yet heard back from the editor, so he followed up with another email. In the email, he simply asked if she had a chance to review his email and if she had an interest in learning more about his story.

    The editor responded to his second email with interest in his work and his story.

    5. Land the write-up

    After their first conversation, the editor referred Pervis to another writer at the publication, who wrote a feature on Pervis, entitled, From Diddy dreams to helping teens: Pervis Taylor III Story.

    6. Maintain the relationship

    Pervis maintained a relationship with the editor who he reached out to intialy at Black Enterprise. He followed her on social media, engaged with her content and even attended some of her events. 

    7. Secure more write-ups

    Pervis went on to get additional write-ups in Black Enterprise, including, passion to purpose and his contributor column

    Pervis 5 tips to pitch the press

    1. Be as niche as possible when deciding what to pitch the press. 

    2. Be an expert in your field. Belive in your experitse and remember they need you. 

    3. Invest in having someone help you pitch. 3rd party pitches are better than doing it yourself in most cases. 

    4. Know what publications you want to be in and why. Is the publication in alignment with your market? 

    5. Don't be afraid to reach out. Be bold and persistent.


    We are here to support you every step of your business journey.  Learn more about how we support NYC entrepreneurs and business owners here