FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 1, 2023
SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES OUTREACH CAMPAIGN ENGAGES 10,000+ NEW YORKERS
More Than 280 Events Held Across All Five Boroughs in Last Fiscal Year Alone, Breaking Agency Records
Launches New Outreach Effort to Promote NYC Business Solutions Centers to Local Businesses
NEW YORK – Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim today announced that SBS’s outreach team has connected with more than 10,000 New Yorkers in the last year alone, breaking agency records for community outreach, and reflecting a dramatic expansion in SBS’s engagement efforts. Since 2022, SBS launched a series of new, innovative initiatives to advance Mayor Eric Adams’ vision for business engagement and workforce outreach outlined in the Blueprint for Economic Recovery. The announcement comes as SBS launches a new outreach effort to promote NYC Business Solutions Centers (NYC BSC) to local businesses across New York City, its first-ever "BSC Crawl."
SBS has taken significant steps to meet New Yorkers where they are and provide information directly in multiple languages about free City services available for small businesses and jobseekers alike, including services available through its 18 Workforce1 Career Centers, 7 NYC Business Solutions Centers, and 9 Industrial Business Service Providers.
"I am thrilled to see SBS’s outreach team making tremendous inroads in meeting New Yorkers where they are and bringing workforce and business services directly to those who need them most," said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. "Entrepreneurial spirit permeates every corner of our city, and through creative outreach we can harness the full power of the people and bring opportunity to everyone."
"As the son of immigrant New York City small business owners, I know first-hand how important it is for government to be present in our communities. Too often, New Yorkers in need don’t know where to turn for help. By bringing the full force of SBS services and programs into our neighborhoods, we’re closing the gap to connect New Yorkers to economic opportunity," said SBS Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. "I am proud of our phenomenal SBS outreach team – and all SBSers – who are getting the word out to more New Yorkers than ever before because when people know about SBS services, they use them, and that helps make our city more prosperous and vibrant for everyone."
Reaching New Yorkers Where They Are
In the last year, SBS has engaged more than 10,000 New Yorkers to promote awareness of its programs – from services that help business owners avoid fines and fees on violations and compete for government contracts, to free job training programs that help New Yorkers jumpstart their careers, to grants for neighborhood organizations that steward commercial corridor development.
The expansion of SBS outreach is centered on innovative methods of connecting with New Yorkers where they are. New and expanded initiatives launched under SBS Commissioner Kevin D. Kim’s leadership include:
- Created the agency’s first-ever centralized outreach unit to ensure cross promotion of all business and career services wherever SBS has a presence.
- Completed the largest-ever M/WBE recertification campaign, reaching out to more than 2,800 firms with expiring certification through webinars, calls, and direct email.
- Significantly expanded interagency Mobile Unit outreach, hosting 55 Mobile Unit outreach events in 35 neighborhoods with partners across 13 City agencies. The SBS Mobile Unit brings a suite of resources directly to New Yorkers in their neighborhoods, including free Wi-Fi, printers, computers, and multilingual representatives from several City agencies.
- Met directly with thousands of small business owners through corridor tours in more than 40 neighborhoods, including several "little" ethnic enclaves, to understand how the City can cut red tape and support their growth.
- Proclaimed for the first time ever, NYC Small Business Month in May 2023 – an expansion of National Small Business Week. NYC Small Business Month also marked the first-ever BID Day, which highlighted the special role of the City’s 76 Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in New York’s commercial corridors and included new partnerships with the Yankees and Mets to promote services to jobseekers at their stadiums.
- Launched "NYC BEST in Your Community," a new initiative of SBS’s NYC Business Express Service Team (NYC BEST), by hosting 15 events with community partners in the first year of the program. NYC BEST works one-on-one with local businesses to expedite permits and licenses, and help business owners avoid fines and fees. Since FY 22, NYC BEST has helped more than 2,200 small business owners save more than $22 million in fines, fees, and lost revenue.
- Started the "Lift Off! Cannabis NYC Listening and Learning Tour," a major public engagement campaign to educate New Yorkers about the growing cannabis industry with plans for more than 40 events across the five boroughs.
- Partnered with community leaders and organizations to host 15 small business roundtables, connecting business owners from across New York City directly to SBS Commissioner Kim to share their experiences and concerns.
- Collaborated with six local non-profit organizations with deep ties in immigrant communities to improve the translation of SBS materials and strengthen communication with immigrant small business owners.
- Hosted the first Small Business Services and Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) joint Immigrant and Ethnic Media roundtable at City Hall, extending dozens of immigrant and ethnic media outlets the opportunity to speak directly with SBS Commissioner Kim D. Kim and MOIA Commissioner Manuel Castro.
- Expanded translation of educational materials, including outreach for the NYC Opportunity Fund – the City’s largest-ever public-private loan fund directed at small businesses – in more than 20 languages.
- Created bite-sized digital content promoting SBS services through our animated Mobile Unit character (Mobie), in 11 languages – Urdu, Bengali, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, Korean, Polish, French, Arabic, Haitian Creole, and Spanish.
- Reached 1.1M users across all SBS social media channels and doubled average post engagement.
- Engaged business owners and community leaders in the City’s first Small Business Advisory Commission, the first-ever Latino American Small Business Task Force, and the growing Asian American Small Business Task Force to leverage trusted messengers to amplify SBS services and targeting services to address community concerns.
- Partnering with FDNY on e-bike battery safety and education. The joint agency effort is focused on outreach to delivery drivers, restaurants, and the owners of e-bike shops to promote awareness on the proper practices for purchasing, storing, and charging e-bike lithium-ion batteries. SBS’s educational efforts are boosted by the multilingual skills of staff who are fluent in six languages, including English, Spanish, Fuzhounese, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Bangla.
Organizations interested in partnering with SBS on community outreach can fill out the Agency’s Mobile Unit Request Form. New Yorkers interested in visiting one of SBS’s Workforce1 Career Centers, or NYC Business Solutions Centers can use this online map. Business owners and entrepreneurs can call 888-SBS-4NYC for more information on the resources available at SBS.
About the 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, visit nyc.gov/sbs, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.