Mayor Adams Spotlights Nowon in the State of City Address

On January 24, New York City Mayor Eric Adams delivered his third State of the City address, at Hostos Community College in the Bronx. Mayor Adams laid out his vision for the future of the city, including a Green Economy Action Plan and City of Yes for Housing Opportunity initiative to build more affordable homes, as well as looked back on notable achievements from the past year.

One such achievement Mayor Adams highlighted was the NYC Small Business Opportunity Fund, a partnership between the city’s Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and eight small business lending CDFIs, including Renaissance. The Opportunity Fund has provided more than $80 million in low-interest capital to small businesses throughout the city, with Renaissance alone accounting for over $10 million of that total. In recognition of Renaissance’s accomplishments as part of this program, Managing Director Jessie Lee and Jae Lee, owner of Korean fusion restaurant Nowon – a Renaissance Opportunity Fund client – were invited to attend Mayor Adams’s address. Mayor Adams had this to say to Jae:

Chef Jae Lee is the owner of Nowon, a popular Korean American bar and restaurant in the East Village. When Chef Jae Lee wanted to open a new location in Brooklyn, regular banks wouldn't give him a fair shake.

Through the SBS Opportunity Fund, Chef Lee was able to get the small business loan he needed at an affordable interest rate, and now he is employing over 50 New Yorkers and serving up his legendary kimchi cheeseburgers in the East Village and Bushwick. Chef, I want to thank you for working so hard to create jobs and keep New York the greatest restaurant city in the world, and I will be having the vegan mushroom noodles when I stop by. Looking forward to it.

Renaissance congratulates Jae, a true immigrant-owned small business success story, for this recognition, and we look forward to continuing our partnership. We can’t wait to see what Nowon achieves next!