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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 11, 2012


NYC DEPARTMENT OF SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES CELEBRATES NEW NYC BUSINESS SOLUTIONS CENTER IN HARLEM

NYC Department of Small Business Services Partners with Harlem Commonwealth Council to Help Strengthen Harlem Small Businesses

New York, NY - The New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) today celebrated the grand opening of a new 1,100-square-foot NYC Business Solutions Center located at 361 West 125th Street in Harlem. The Harlem NYC Business Solutions Center was previously located at 215 West 125th Street. The new, easily accessible facility will allow NYC Business Solutions to provide services to meet the needs of the Harlem area businesses and help them start, operate and expand. Harlem Commonwealth Council (HCC) President & CEO Dr. Joseph Tait, Congressman Rangel, and Council Members Reyna and Dickens also joined the announcement. HCC has served the Harlem community since 1967, providing services to Harlem and its residents in the form of community-based economic development.

"Partnering with the Harlem Commonwealth Council will help us go even further to strengthen our connections to those small businesses and entrepreneurs that need our assistance to open, grow, and expand," said Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services.

"The opening of the NYC Business Solutions Center in our building acknowledges and recognizes our four decade old effort in the economic development of our community," said Dr. Joseph Tait, President and CEO of the Harlem Commonwealth Council. "This center supports our longstanding commitment of service and provides us with the tools and opportunity to be the continuing lynchpin to businesses in Upper Manhattan."
"Small businesses, the backbone of our communities, play a critical role in expanding our economy and creating jobs. I am thankful to Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Walsh for their dedicated support in launching this initiative that will provide small business owners and entrepreneurs the necessary resources to succeed. I look forward to working with President Tait of the Harlem Commonwealth Council to ensure that my constituents take advantage of these invaluable services that will ultimately help develop more small businesses and strengthen our local economy," said Congressman Charles Rangel.

"Small businesses are the heart and economic engine of this city providing jobs to New Yorkers at all economic levels. By offering support and resources to small businesses, this new Business Solutions Center is a critical investment in entrepreneurship, working families, and future economic growth in Harlem and throughout the city," said Council Member Domenic Recchia.

"Business Solutions Centers are one of the City’s greatest assets in providing local businesses personal, one-on-one assistance," said Council Member Diana Reyna, Chair of the Committee on Small Business. "The Harlem business community will benefit greatly from the new Harlem Business Solutions Center, both from the Center’s new facility and from the expertise and experience of its managing organization, the Harlem Commonwealth Council."

"Harlem, like many other communities, is changing and has been for some time. However such transformation should not result in the disappearance of the indigenous business community, and today we look to cultivate the dreams of so many who aspire to start and grow their business here in Harlem. As a former business owner, I understand the difficulty faced by many as in making payroll, cost of overhead, paying rent, advertising and managing day to day operations in a city that hasn't always been business friendly. And that was running an already established company. Such obstacles are multiplied for start ups. Today we welcome the effort of the administration to give small business leaders they help they need to continue thriving," said Council Member Inez E. Dickens. "My thanks goes to the partnership between Robert Walsh, Commissioner of Small Business Services, NYC Business Solutions and Dr. Joseph Tait with the Harlem Commonwealth Council in seeking to connect our future entrepreneurs with the support necessary to be the job creators that Harlem needs and deserves."   

"We are thrilled to welcome this expanded Business Solutions Center to Upper Manhattan which will now be able to help even more of our small businesses to grow and flourish," said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. "The opening of this new, larger center in Harlem recognizes all the exciting potential of our local uptown businesses. I thank Commissioner Walsh and my colleagues for their work in opening this new and improved NYC Business Solutions Center in Upper Manhattan." 

NYC Business Solutions Centers, located in all five boroughs, offer the following free services:

  • Business Courses - teaches entrepreneurs and small businesses the relevant skills to help them reach their business goals. Courses that focus on developing a business plan and creating and executing a marketing strategy are offered on a monthly basis.
  • Legal Assistance - A network of attorneys provides pro-bono consultations on business establishment, contract review, lease review, and intellectual property.
  • Financing Assistance - helps businesses identify an appropriate lender for their need, package a loan application, and increase the chance of receiving a loan award.
  • Recruitment Services - provides businesses access to a ready pool of screened job candidates.
  • Training - provides funds for businesses to invest in their workforce, improve their employees’ skills, and increase productivity.
  • Incentives - helps businesses save money by connecting them to incentives offered by federal, state, and local government.
  • Navigating Government - helps businesses understand and comply with government regulations.
  • Certification - helps minority and women-owned businesses do business with the City and grow.

To date in 2012, NYC Business Solutions Centers have connected more than 500 businesses to loans totaling more than $56 million, helped launch over 200 new businesses, and provided business courses to more than 3,000 business owners and entrepreneurs.

About the Department of Small Business Services
The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) makes it easier for businesses in New York City to start, operate and expand by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, and linking employers to a skilled and qualified workforce. For more information on all of SBS’ services, go to www.nyc.gov/sbs.

About the Harlem Commonwealth Council
Harlem Commonwealth Council’s mission is to stimulate the economic development of the Harlem community, through the creation of enterprises, the generation of jobs, and support of businesses and education of residents.  HCC’s vision is to be a catalyst in the community, to help provide opportunities for economic prosperity for Harlem residents through superior business development and training services.  HCC believes that these services will help residents to sustain themselves and their families.  Like the mission and vision, HCC’s values are part of its founding principles:  Through all that HCC does, it will ensure skill development and business creation for residents’ long-term economic self-sufficiency and will ensure that everything it undertakes has a direct relationship to enhancing the economic viability of the Harlem community. 



  Contact: Merideth Weber, Press Secretary, 212-513-6318, mweber@sbs.nyc.gov  

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