Robert W. Walsh was appointed Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) by Mayor Bloomberg in January 2002. During his tenure, he has reshaped the Agency to directly focus on and respond to the needs of the City’s 200,000 small businesses—the first time that a City agency has been completely dedicated to this goal.
In doing so, SBS has invigorated the City's 67 Business Improvement Districts—the largest network of BIDs in the country—which deliver more than $100 million dollars in supplemental services for the direct benefit of more than 64,000 businesses. He has also enhanced the delivery of technical assistance and incentives to NYC's small businesses through NYC Business Solutions; energized the City’s promotion and support of minority- and women-owned businesses; and reconfigured the City’s workforce development initiatives, which the Mayor merged with SBS in July 2003.
Prior to his appointment, Walsh spent five years in North Carolina as President of Charlotte Center City Partners, an organization dedicated to improving and growing Charlotte’s central business district. From 1989 to April 1997, he led the Union Square Partnership, where he played a key role in the neighborhood's revitalization. During the 1980's, he worked in the administration of Mayor Edward I. Koch. He began his career in public service as a New York City Urban Fellow, a program he later directed. Commissioner Walsh holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from Fordham University.