Best for NYC is a municipally-led impact campaign developed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). It was created in partnership with B Lab and locally-based business organizations, including the Business Outreach Center Network (BOC). To compete to be Best for NYC, businesses took a customized version of the Quick Impact Assessment, called the Best for NYC CHallenge, and to be a Finalist in the campaign, businesses took the B Impact Assessment. Since its launch in spring 2015 the program has reached more than 1,200 businesses that are taking steps to improve job quality and economic opportunity for more than 65,000 workers. Of the Best for NYC Finalists, 100 businesses have been recognized by B Lab as Honorees for earning the top scores among all businesses competing to be Best for NYC. The list of Finalists and Honorees published by B Lab can be found here.
What inspired BOCnet to join a program using the B Impact Assessment and B Analytics?
We were inspired to join a campaign that would enable New York City businesses to recognize, measure and apply best business practices. Our hope was this would promote a value proposition that strengthens our businesses, creates well-paying jobs, and improves the quality of life in all five boroughs.
We saw the unique value of B Lab’s tools to inform and enable businesses to assess issues -- such as diversity and inclusion, compensation, benefits and governance -- while comparing themselves to peers to establish best practices. With more than 40,000 businesses using the B Impact Assessment, we felt that businesses would be able to identify opportunities to improve their competitive outlook by investing in better systems, and in doing so, improve their workplace and communities. We also found B Analytics incredibly helpful to identify the aggregate positive impact of our businesses and evaluate the industry-specific impact of groups we serve.
How have you designed and executed your Measure What Matters program?
BOC received funding from the NYCEDC to provide technical assistance to businesses taking the Best for NYC Challenge. With this funding, BOC created a new program model called the Business Peer Exchange.
Each Business Peer Exchange, comprised of 15-20 business owners, gathered for six 3-hour sessions to share best practices about operating in a more thoughtful, socially and environmentally conscious way. The Exchanges, facilitated by an expert consultant, offered an opportunity for business owners to engage with their peers and gain values-based support to improve management practices while staying true to their vision.
We designed our program around the Best for NYC Challenge and a change management approach, and used B Analytics to benchmark the performance of our businesses to others in their industries. Businesses were also required to take the Best for NYC Challenge at the beginning and end of the Business Peer Exchange program.
What were your results?
We saw many businesses make incredible improvements from participating in the Business Peer Exchanges. Valente Yeast implemented a socially conscious 401K program, YB Electric Corp starting tracking the energy saved from using LED bulbs and using Energy Star equipment, and Fit4Dance became a B Corp. These are just a handful of the impactful decisions business owners made to be the best for New York City.
We’re incredibly proud to say that of the 1,200 companies that competed in Best for NYC, over 170 were Business Outreach Center businesses. We brought together owners and managers of 40 businesses in our Peer Exchanges, running sessions targeted to restaurant and food distribution industries, women owned businesses, and Spanish speaking business owners. We’re also thrilled that 51 BOC businesses were recognized as Finalists and 19 were recognized as Honorees at the Best for NYC Awards Ceremony. Across the five boroughs, among various industries and company sizes, BOC businesses are standing together to redefine the role that business plays in New York City.
BOC Network is proud to be an inaugural partner in the Best for NYC campaign, and especially gratified to see the results of bringing businesses together. We found that the BOC Business Peer Exchanges were transformational. We believe that business is a powerful force for good in their communities and in the lives of their workers -- and it's about time we celebrate that. Not only do small businesses excel in terms of charitable giving and volunteer service, they are also committed to hiring locally, creating opportunities for diverse company ownership and leadership, and supporting fellow entrepreneurs.
We found B Analytics incredibly helpful to identify the aggregate positive impact of our businesses and evaluate the industry-specific impact of groups we serve.
BOCnet (Best for NYC)
10,000 Companies 146 Countries 196 Industries 92 Funds