Monday, May 1, 2017

Contact: Nick Benson, SBS Press Secretary -, 212-618-6778


Innovative Programs and Services Available To Help The City’s Over 220,000 Small Businesses

New York – NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Gregg Bishop today kicked off National Small Business Week by announcing that SBS has served over 15,000 small businesses over the last year. SBS offers a variety of programs and initiatives aimed to help small businesses start, operate, and grow in New York City. Through targeted services, SBS is successfully serving thousands of businesses and helping to build a more inclusive local economy. SBS works to ensure that the city is conducive to operating a small business and that government remains a constructive partner. To further extend economic impact, SBS also offers services that help build vibrant neighborhoods and connect New Yorkers to local employment opportunities.

“This National Small Business Week, I want to recognize the over 220,000 small businesses that make up the vibrant fabric of our city,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “From bodegas to boutiques, we are working to ensure small businesses remain the driving force behind New York City’s thriving economy. I encourage all small businesses to take advantage of our free services – we are here to help!”

"Since 1963 when President John F. Kennedy first declared National Small Business Week into existence, it has grown into a national treasure of celebrating small business owners in our nation," said Council Member Robert Cornegy, Chair of the New York City Council’s Small Business Committee. " For the next few days, we celebrate the entrepreneurs that help empower America’s economy in New York City.  As the chair of the Council’s Small Business Committee, I invite my colleagues to join me in applauding the SBS leadership and Mayor de Blasio for the exemplary outcomes over the past year. We continue to show the nation that New York City is a great place to open, operate and grow a small business."

SBS’ multitude of services has reached significant milestones in supporting small businesses here in New York City. Some of the many available services and recent outcomes include:

Better Government for Stronger Businesses

  • Small Business First, an initiative launched by Mayor Bill de Blasio, has reduced fines assessed against small businesses by 40% since 2014 and has helped businesses open faster by an average of 2.5 months.
  • Compliance Consultations are available, free of charge, to small business owners across New York City. Personnel from SBS will perform an on-site consultation to help small business owners proactively comply with important health, safety, and consumer regulations to help avoid fines and penalties.
  • The Chamber on the Go program has served over 2,600 small businesses over the last year by bringing a host of SBS services directly to neighborhoods across the city.
  • The NYC Love Your Local campaign has allowed New Yorkers to share over 1,700 of their favorite small businesses on an interactive map. Launched in February of this year, the program promotes shopping at local, independent small businesses, helps New Yorkers discover hidden gems in their neighborhood, and is making grants of up to $90,000 available to small businesses.
  • 66 Commercial Lease Workshops have helped 490 business owners minimize risks when entering into a commercial lease since FY 2016. A new commercial lease guide will soon detail what to know prior to signing a commercial lease; advice includes selecting a location, space construction, working with legal professionals, and reviewing key lease terms.

Outreach to Key Small Business Owners

  • The Immigrant Business Initiative connected over 1,500 immigrant business owners with business services, in multiple languages, since its 2014 launch. A new resource guide offering step-by-step advice on topics like signing a commercial lease and understanding immigrant rights is now readily accessible to immigrant New Yorkers who are planning, launching, or currently operating a small business.
  • The WE NYC initiative has helped over 1,500 women start and grow their businesses. The program has connected women entrepreneurs with more than 256 hours of workshops and 140 hours of direct mentoring since its launch.
  • M/WBEs The number of City contracts awarded to minority and women-owned businesses has significantly increased. Between FY 2015 and FY 2016, the percentage of contracts awarded to these businesses nearly doubled from 8% to 14.3%. SBS offers an array of services to help these businesses compete for contracts.

Connecting Jobseekers and Employers, Creating New Opportunities

  • 20 Workforce1Career Centers partnered with local businesses to connect over 25,000 New Yorkers to new jobs in 2016.
  • The Food Business Pathways program helped NYC Housing Authority residents gain the training and supported needed to launch 111 food businesses since 2015.

Investing in Neighborhoods and Commercial Districts

  • 73 Business Improvement Districts invested over $130M to positively impact over 85,000 small businesses during FY 2016.
  • The Neighborhood 360 program has invested $3 million to help neighborhoods address unique, local needs. Grants of up to $500,000 have been awarded in six neighborhoods across the city. These grants are supporting projects that strengthen and revitalize commercial corridors and support small business growth.

For more information on these services, visit or call 311.

About NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS)

SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information on all SBS services, go to, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.