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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 17, 2009


COMMISSIONER WALSH AND COMMISSIONER SHAMA ANNOUNCE THE CITY’S FIRST BILINGUAL SEMINAR FOR LATINO BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS

Giving Small Businesses Support to Grow in New York City is Part of the Bloomberg Administration’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan

The NYC Business Solutions Seminar for Latino Businesses is One of the City’s Five initiatives to Support Hispanic Small Businesses

New York, September 17, 2009 - Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Robert W. Walsh and The Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) Commissioner Fatima Shama this week held the City’s first Bilingual Seminar for Latino Business Associations. Helping small business grow is an integral part of the Bloomberg Administration’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan to create jobs for New Yorkers, implement a vision for long-term economic growth, and build affordable, attractive neighborhoods.

“Today’s seminar for Latino Business Associations is one of the many programs and services being offered through NYC Business Solutions in order to help New York businesses start, operate or expand,” said SBS Commissioner Robert W. Walsh. “New York City is a unique urban center and our support is instrumental in helping these small businesses succeed.”

The City has been working with a coalition of Hispanic businesses, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders to develop initiatives that strengthen the capacity of Hispanic businesses and provide greater access to the City's financing and business assistance services. There are more than 130,000 Latino-owned businesses in New York City, with receipts of $8.7 billion a year, and annual payrolls of $250 million.

“Immigrant-owned businesses are the backbone of our City’s economy and developing innovative programs to help them to navigate the myriad of both City regulations and service providers is at the very core of the mission of my office,” said Commissioner Shama. “I am glad to partner with Commissioner Walsh and the Department of Small Business Services in delivering initiatives that help these businesses thrive in New York City.”

The day-long seminar, held at 110 William Street on Wednesday, September 16, was one of five initiatives announced in June by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to help strengthen Latino-owned small businesses. The purpose of the seminar was twofold: to educate organizations on the range of services offered to businesses by the City of New York, and to provide essential information on starting and operating a business in NYC. The seminar, offered in English and Spanish, included sessions on Commercial Leasing: Strategies for Tough Times; Money Matters: Credit and Financing Assistance for Small Businesses; and Navigating NYC Government: What Businesses Need to Know. There were representatives from various City agencies on site to answer participant’s questions. The agencies included Census 2010, NYC Commission on Human rights, NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYC Department of Sanitation, NYC Office of Emergency Management, and the NYC Police Department.

The remaining initiatives include a new NYC Business Solutions satellite office in Washington Heights, which opened this month; a series of workshops designed to educate businesses on the most common issues and challenges associated with commercial leases and contracts, which began in July; the June launch of an online directory on the National Hispanic Business Information Clearinghouse website (www.hispanicbic.org); and a NYC Business Solutions Financing Fair, which was held on July 9th.

About the Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan
The Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city's economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth. For more information go to www.nyc.gov.

About The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs promotes the well-being of immigrant communities by recommending policies and programs that facilitate successful integration of immigrant New Yorkers into the civic, economic, and cultural life of the City. For more information go to www.nyc.gov/immigrant.

About The Department of Small Business Services
The Department of Small Business Services makes it easier for businesses in New York City to form, do business, and grow by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, and linking employers to a skilled and qualified workforce. NYC Workforce1 Career Centers offer services to meet the needs of all jobseekers, including one-on-one job and career counseling, technical and educational services, workshops, and referrals to training providers. For more information on all of SBS’ services go to www.nyc.gov/sbs.



  Contacts: Laura Postiglione (SBS) 212-513-6318
Annie Lazar (MOIA) 212-788-7654
 

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