Black Business Month 2023 montage

Local Black-Owned Businesses for #BlackBusinessMonth

GOSO loves celebrating the success of people in our community. We love it because Harlem-based Black-owned businesses not only enrich and strengthen our community, they provide models for possible career paths for future leaders coming through GOSO programming. That’s why, in August, we celebrate National Black Business Month, which highlights and appreciates the contributions of Black-owned businesses to the U.S. economy and in promoting diversity and equity.

The three businesses we’re highlighting below are Black- and locally-owned, and are providing sources of inspiration that we hope will be contagious for other entrepreneurial neighbors. GOSO has worked with Urban Upbound, The Bark Shoppe and Bakery HNY to place participants in internships and jobs, and we hope you’ll patronize all three the next time you’re in the neighborhood!

Urban Upbound group photoUrban Upbound

Urban Upbound was founded in 2004 by Bishop Mitchell Taylor and is dedicated to helping low-income New Yorkers achieve economic mobility and self-sufficiency. With programs spanning financial fitness, employment services, tax preparation, youth development, and more, they’ve reached almost 40,000 New Yorkers in just the last three years.

Urban Upbound’s impact extends to our participants. Good internships and jobs are key in finding self sufficiency and we’re proud to have placed interns there. Our participants have been able to explore real career paths while gaining exposure to a model for community business and community leadership. Thanks Urban Upbound!

Learn more about Urban Unbound at, and visit them at 335 East 111th Street.

The Bark ShoppeThe Bark Shoppe

In 2017, Melissa Mitchner founded The Bark Shoppe, offering expansive services for dog owners including grooming, dog walking, daycare, and more. Additionally, The Bark Shoppe’s Educational Program seeks to professionalize and standardize pet care, an innovative approach in the industry. Outside of her business, Melissa is dedicated to inspiring and investing in the Harlem community. This includes offering internships to BIPOC students in underserved neighborhoods – one of which was our very own GOSO participant.

Melissa believes that “people cannot aspire to be who they do not see.” As a pioneer black business owner in the petcare industry, she is working to change this reality.

Learn more about The Bark Shoppe at, and visit them at 100 St. Nicholas Avenue.

Bakery HNY Bakery HNY

Bakery HNY, founded by Harlem sneaker legend CheoDaDon in 2015, offers up unique, high-quality clothing, sneakers, and accessories for customers and provides opportunities for amateur designers to execute their design concepts. Deeply rooted in and inspired by the Harlem community, Bakery HNY serves as an outlet for creativity and innovation in the area.

One of our GOSO participants has completed an internship with Baker HNY, and we remain grateful to black-owned businesses such as Baker HNY who give back to and inspire their community.

Learn more about Bakery HNY at, and visit them at 1457 Amsterdam Avenue.