The cultural richness of Harlem, Washington Heights, and surrounding neighborhoods is an essential part of what makes Columbia a great place to work and study. As the seventh largest private employer in the City of New York, Columbia University recognizes its role as an engine of urban growth. The Office of Government and Community Affairs maintains relationships with community-based organizations, government officials, corporations, minority entrepreneurs, developers, and related departments within the University. We work to maintain and expand our knowledge of existing businesses in the local marketplace, and to support area enterprise development in our neighboring communities. Currently, our economic development work is largely focused on activities related to the University's expansion into Manhattanville.
GCA also works in tandem with, and in support of, the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center, a program of the U.S. Small Business Administration that provides technical assistance to small businesses and non- profits, as well as workforce development for youth and veterans. The real world experience of the Columbia Harlem SBDC provides Columbia’s student body and faculty members opportunities to assist the thousands of small businesses and non-profit organizations within the upper Manhattan community, in addition to providing the Harlem community the benefit of the resources and brain power of a top ranked university.
Additionally, we collaborate with several community organizations, government entities and University partners to support economic development related programming at and around Columbia.