Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a statewide initiative designed to help small business owners start and grow their businesses in the state. The team will consist of employees from at least six New York State agencies including the departments of State, Labor, Taxation and Finance as well as Empire State Development, State Liquor Authority, and the Workers Compensation Board. The team will travel to every region of the state to meet with New Yorkers about the states rules and programs intended to help small businesses.
"This program is all about creating jobs because when small businesses do well, New York does well," said Governor Cuomo. "It so important for us to get out of the office and go into communities to see how we can help anyone who wants to start, grow or improve a business and thats what this program will do."
The workshops held in each region will be conducted in conjunction with local chambers of commerce. Representatives from the agencies will provide opportunities for business owners to speak to them after the main presentation and will direct them to state programs and services. The program will begin with workshops in Utica and Schenectady and will continue throughout the spring and summer months.
Many business owners have contacted the state with questions about regulations, licenses and practices. Some of the topics the seminars will cover include: starting a business and adhering to regulatory timelines; how to obtain and file tax forms; first steps for hiring employees; and, how to become certified as an MWBE.
Information and materials designed to assist small businesses can be found at www.NYOpenforSmallBusiness.com.
Assemblymember Felix Ortiz, Chairman of the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Task Force, said, "Small business growth and development is a critical issue in the Hispanic community in New York State. Many potential business owners are unclear about the rules and regulations that govern how to establish a successful business. With the help of the state, this program will ensure that those businesses start on the right track and succeed."
Assemblymember Karim Camara, Chairman of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, said, "This effort will increase the creation of jobs around the state and will complement the Governor's strong commitment to helping Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises. Small businesses are the engines of our economy. Supporting these businesses will benefit all New Yorkers."
Chief Diversity Officer Yrthya Dinzey-Flores said, "Our local and ethnic chambers of commerce are a tremendous resource for small businesses and they are a key component of the Governors efforts to reach a broad array of existing and potential business owners. These organizations bring a wealth of experience and diversity that greatly complements what government can do to support the growth and prosperity of small businesses."
Deputy Secretary for Civil Rights Alphonso David said, "The Governor has tasked us with ensuring that we bring essential government services to businesses in the most efficient and impactful way. We are working on all fronts to remove barriers that have hindered small business growth, particularly for minority firms. Consistent with the Governors Open for Business campaign, this initiative seeks to make it easier for small businesses to interface with government and obtain the government services that exist for them to succeed."
Heather Briccetti, President& CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc., said, "This outreach program focusing on small and immigrant-owned businesses gets essential information directly to those that need it. Both Governor Cuomo and business leaders know that by working together we can foster minorityand women-owned business growth, expand our economy and help New York attract new business and create jobs. We commend the Governor on this initiative and look forward to participating in more public/private partnerships."
Frank Garcia, Chairman of the New York State Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, said, "By launching this initiative, Governor Cuomo is acknowledging both the importance of small business to the states economy as well as the role that local and ethnic chambers of commerce play in the creation and growth of jobs in our state. We are excited to be working with the Governor and his team on this initiative."
Rita Paniagua, Executive Director of the Spanish Action League in Central NY, said, "Small businesses are a key component of the upstate economy and this program will inform business owners of the many programs and services the state has to assist them."
Robin Douglas, President and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Westchester and Rockland Counties, Inc., said, "So many of our member businesses need advice and simple answers to questions but do not know where to go. This type of panel discussion can give them the information they need in an easily accessible format in their own region."
Bonnie Wong, President of Asian Women in Business, said, "Small business owners work long hours running their shops, restaurants, practices and companies and it can be challenging for them to access information. By bringing these seminars into our neighborhoods, the Governor is demonstrating his commitment to all business owners around the state."
Alfred Placeres, President of the New York State Federation of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, said, "Small business owners often have many questions about issues such as taxes, labor and workers compensation, but have challenges knowing where to turn for help. We are excited that the Governor has created an initiative to provide important information to small business owners."
The business outreach initiative will be held in the following regions and on the following dates.
Mohawk Valley-April 3 (6:30 PM)Utica State Office Building207 Genesee St. 1st FloorUtica, NY
Capitol District- April 4 (6:00 PM)Schenectady County Community College78 Washington AvenueSchenectady, NY
Buffalo-April 23 (6:30 PM)D'Youville College320 Porter AveBuffalo, NY
Rochester-April 24 (8:30 AM)Hillside Family of Agencies Conference Center1 Mustard StreetRochester, NY
Watertown- May 17 (8:30 AM)Jefferson- Lewis- Hamilton- Herkimer- Oneida BOCES20104 NYS Route 3Watertown, NY
Central New York
Syracuse-May 17 (6:30 PM)Onondoga Community College4585 West Seneca TurnpikeSyracuse, NY
Binghamton May 18 (8:30 AM)Broome County Community College907 Upper Front StreetBinghamton, NY
Orange County Chamber of Commerce-June 27 (6:30 PM)30 Scotts Corners DriveMontgomery, NY
White Plains- June 28 (6:30 PM)New York Power Authority123 Main StreetWhite Plains, NY
New York City
Manhattan- July 11 (8:30 AM)Pace UniversitySchimmel Center for the ArtsMultipurpose Room3 Spruce StreetNew York, NY
Bronx- July 11 (6:30 PM)Hutch Metro Center1200 Waters PlaceBronx, NY
Harlem-August 7 (6:30 PM)City College of New York160 Convent AvenueNew York, NY
Brooklyn-August 7 (8:30 AM)Brooklyn College2900 Bedford AvenueBrooklyn, NY
Staten Island - August 8 (6:30 PM)Joan and Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island1466 Manor RoadStaten Island, NY
Queens- August 22 (8:30 AM)Flushing YMCA138-46 Northern Blvd.Flushing, NY
Nassau- May 3 (6:00 PM)Hofstra University1000 Fulton AvenueHempstead, NY
Suffolk-May 3 (8:30 AM)Western Suffolk BOCES Conference CenterWheatley Heights, NY
Information on the workshops will be posted on the small business website www.NYOpenforSmallBusiness.com. Business owners and organizations interested in learning more about or getting involved in the Small Business Outreach Initiative should contact [email protected]