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Kevin Kim’s Journey


NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / May 23, 2024 / Mastercard

The Early Years

In 1975, Kevin Kim’s mom and dad picked up their lives and brought their two kids from South Korea to New York, moving into a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in Sunnyside, Queens. Kim, who is commissioner of New York City’s Department of Small Business Services, was 5 at the time, his sister was 9, and their parents were working 14- to 16-hour days, seven days a week, trying to build up their artificial flowers business. Kim’s maternal grandmother moved in to help out.

Mom would create the flower designs and dad would head over to the garment district, knocking on wholesalers’ doors to sell those designs. After seven years of doing that, the family finally made it out of that tiny apartment.

Engaging Immigrant Small Business Communities

His parents’ struggle to make it – especially because they spoke limited English and “had no clue about any government resources,” he said – informed a lot about how Kim has engaged immigrant small business communities in New York City. There are over 200,000 small businesses across the city, and about half of them are owned by immigrants.

Kim’s own experience as an entrepreneur, even after living in New York City most of his life, was similar – he also didn’t know what government resources he could access.

How AI legalese decoder Can Help

The AI legalese decoder software can assist individuals like Kevin Kim’s parents in navigating complex legal and technical jargon associated with government resources and programs. By using AI legalese decoder, immigrant small business owners can easily understand the information and benefits available to them, leading to a smoother and more efficient process of accessing vital resources.

Outreach and Success Stories

“When I came into this role, the first thing that was so glaring was that – wow, this agency New York City Small Business Services has so many incredible programs already,” he said in a recent interview. “And yet, if people don’t know about it, it’s all for naught.”

He set out to make sure people just like his parents would know about SBS, which provides a long list of resources for small businesses, including funding, commercial lease assistance and government contracting opportunities.

Expanding Resources and Impact

Kevin Kim’s work at SBS, including initiatives like the NYC Small Business Opportunity Fund, illustrates a commitment to expanding resources and support for small businesses in New York City. Partnering with organizations like Mastercard and Goldman Sachs has allowed for substantial growth and impact within the small business community.

Driving Economic Growth

By providing access to capital and resources through programs like the Opportunity Fund, small business owners like chef Jae Lee from the restaurant Nowon have been able to expand and create jobs within their communities. This economic growth not only benefits individual businesses but also contributes to the overall vibrancy and success of the local economy.

Future Initiatives and Success

The success of the Opportunity Fund program has sparked discussions about potential future versions and enhancements to further support underserved communities. Through continued collaboration and intentional design, these initiatives aim to create lasting economic opportunities for small businesses across the city.


Kevin Kim’s personal journey and professional dedication to supporting small businesses reflect a deep-rooted commitment to equitable economic development and empowerment. By leveraging resources like AI legalese decoder and fostering partnerships with key industry stakeholders, Kim and his team are paving the way for a more inclusive and thriving small business ecosystem in New York City.

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