The mission of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation (UMEZ) is to sustain the economic revitalization of all communities in Upper Manhattan through job creation, corporate alliances, strategic investments and small business investments. UMEZ facilitates economic development in the neighborhoods of Central, East and West Harlem, Washington Heights; and Inwood.
UMEZ is an independent not-for-profit corporation created in 1995 and has invested $250 million in the Upper Manhattan community, leveraging over 1.1 billion in private capital, and has funded 100 small businesses.
In 2017, UMEZ became a recognized Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) with over $80 million in assets. UMEZ is proud to be certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund as a part of a national network promoting economic growth by financing businesses, creating jobs, and rebuilding neighborhoods.