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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 15, 2009


NYC DEPARTMENT OF SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES ANNOUNCES THE FIRST GRADUATING CLASS IN THE FASTTRAC GROWTHVENTURE PROGRAM

The FastTrac Program is part of the Bloomberg Administration’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan to Support Small Businesses

New York, May 15, 2009 – NYC Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh announced today that the first group of business owners has graduated from the FastTrac GrowthVenture program, which is designed to teach companies how to review and reshape their business models in order to meet the current economic challenges.

“Small businesses are the core of our City and we need to give them all the support we can during these tough times,” said SBS Commissioner Robert W. Walsh. “I congratulate this first graduating class and applaud these New York business owners for taking the steps to make sure their businesses succeed.”

On May 13th, the first group of 28 business owners finished the course held at the Levin Institute of the State University of New York in Manhattan. The types of businesses participating in the program include electronic equipment rental, wholesale food, baby apparel, digital media technology products and services, real estate brokerage, financial advisory service, health insurance consulting, IT consulting for financial services.

SBS is partnering with the Kauffman Foundation, a philanthropic organization that works to advance entrepreneurship around the world, to bring the FastTrac programs to New York City for the first time. The program offers two courses: The FastTrac GrowthVenture, an eight-session classroom training; and FastTrac NewVenture, an intensive boot camp designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs launch a new business, including how identify and reach a target market, set financial goals and build an effective team. It is estimated that up to 1,000 people will be able to take advantage of FastTrac programs over the next year. The FastTrac programs are part of the Bloomberg Administration’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan.

Each FastTrac GrowthVenture class is staffed by entrepreneurs serving as program facilitators, business coaches and guest speakers. The sessions include topics such as sizing up your business and exploring growth opportunities, making strategic decisions & using financial tools, strengthening the product/service, among others. By the end of the course, participants will have reviewed their ideas and assignments with successful entrepreneurs and business coaches, updated their business plans for strategic growth, and connected to services that will help them operate and expand their businesses. NYC Business Solutions and NYC Business Express.

NYC Business Solutions provides business courses and assistance with business planning, legal matters, navigating government, financing, hiring, minority and women-owned business enterprise certification, employee training, and accessing incentives. NYC Business Express, a one-stop online tool that has all the license, permit and tax information and applications needed to do business in the city.

Participants must be New York City residents with a business in operation for one or more years and they are selected based on the needs of their existing businesses. Applications are currently being accepted for the next class, which will start on June 1. There will be additional classes offered throughout the year. The FastTrac NewVenture course is also underway and we are accepting applications for classes that will be held throughout the year.

For more information visit www.nyc.gov/FastTrac, email FastTrac@sbs.nyc.gov or call 311 and ask for FastTrac.

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.

About The Department of Small Business Services
The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) 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.



  Contact: Laura Postiglione (SBS) 212.513.6318  

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