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Purpose

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO ANNOUNCES STATEWIDE SMALL BUSINESS OUTREACH INITIATIVE
Team of State Officials to Travel Around the State to Conduct Workshops for Businesses
Small Businesses Learn About Starting and Sustaining Successful Businesses in the State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a statewide initiative designed to help small business owners start and grow their businesses in the state. The team will consist of employees from at least six New York State agencies including the departments of State, Labor, Taxation and Finance as well as Empire State Development, State Liquor Authority, and the Workers Compensation Board. The team will travel to every region of the state to meet with New Yorkers about the state’s rules and programs intended to help small businesses.

"This program is all about creating jobs because when small businesses do well, New York does well," said Governor Cuomo. "It so important for us to get out of the office and go into communities to see how we can help anyone who wants to start, grow or improve a business and that’s what this program will do."

The workshops held in each region will be conducted in conjunction with local chambers of commerce. Representatives from the agencies will provide opportunities for business owners to speak to them after the main presentation and will direct them to state programs and services. The program will begin with workshops in Utica and Schenectady and will continue throughout the spring and summer months.

Many business owners have contacted the state with questions about regulations, licenses and practices. Some of the topics the seminars will cover include: starting a business and adhering to regulatory timelines; how to obtain and file tax forms; first steps for hiring employees; and, how to become certified as an MWBE.

Information and materials designed to assist small businesses can be found at www.NYOpenforSmallBusiness.com.

Assemblymember Felix Ortiz, Chairman of the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Task Force, said, "Small business growth and development is a critical issue in the Hispanic community in New York State. Many potential business owners are unclear about the rules and regulations that govern how to establish a successful business. With the help of the state, this program will ensure that those businesses start on the right track and succeed."

Assemblymember Karim Camara, Chairman of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, said, "This effort will increase the creation of jobs around the state and will complement the Governor's strong commitment to helping Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises. Small businesses are the engines of our economy. Supporting these businesses will benefit all New Yorkers."

Chief Diversity Officer Yrthya Dinzey-Flores said, "Our local and ethnic chambers of commerce are a tremendous resource for small businesses and they are a key component of the Governor’s efforts to reach a broad array of existing and potential business owners. These organizations bring a wealth of experience and diversity that greatly complements what government can do to support the growth and prosperity of small businesses."

Deputy Secretary for Civil Rights Alphonso David said, "The Governor has tasked us with ensuring that we bring essential government services to businesses in the most efficient and impactful way. We are working on all fronts to remove barriers that have hindered small business growth, particularly for minority firms. Consistent with the Governor’s Open for Business campaign, this initiative seeks to make it easier for small businesses to interface with government and obtain the government services that exist for them to succeed. "

Heather Briccetti, President& CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc., said, "This outreach program focusing on small and immigrant-owned businesses gets essential information directly to those that need it. Both Governor Cuomo and business leaders know that by working together we can foster minority—and women-owned business growth, expand our economy and help New York attract new business and create jobs. We commend the Governor on this initiative and look forward to participating in more public/private partnerships."

Frank Garcia, Chairman of the New York State Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, said, "By launching this initiative, Governor Cuomo is acknowledging both the importance of small business to the state’s economy as well as the role that local and ethnic chambers of commerce play in the creation and growth of jobs in our state. We are excited to be working with the Governor and his team on this initiative."

Rita Paniagua, Executive Director of the Spanish Action League in Central NY, said, "Small businesses are a key component of the upstate economy and this program will inform business owners of the many programs and services the state has to assist them."

Robin Douglas, President and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Westchester and Rockland Counties, Inc., said, "So many of our member businesses need advice and simple answers to questions but do not know where to go. This type of panel discussion can give them the information they need in an easily accessible format in their own region."

Bonnie Wong, President of Asian Women in Business, said, "Small business owners work long hours running their shops, restaurants, practices and companies and it can be challenging for them to access information. By bringing these seminars into our neighborhoods, the Governor is demonstrating his commitment to all business owners around the state."

Alfred Placeres, President of the New York State Federation of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, said, "Small business owners often have many questions about issues such as taxes, labor and workers compensation, but have challenges knowing where to turn for help. We are excited that the Governor has created an initiative to provide important information to small business owners. "

The business outreach initiative will be held in the following regions and on the following dates.

Mohawk Valley

Mohawk Valley-April 3 (6:30 PM)
Utica State Office Building
207 Genesee St. 1st Floor
Utica, NY

Capital Region

Capitol District- April 4 (6:00 PM)
Schenectady County Community College
78 Washington Avenue
Schenectady, NY

Western NY

Buffalo-April 23 (6:30 PM)
D'Youville College
320 Porter Ave
Buffalo, NY

Finger Lakes

Rochester-April 24 (8:30 AM)
Hillside Family of Agencies Conference Center
1 Mustard Street
Rochester, NY

North Country

Watertown- May 17 (8:30 AM)
Jefferson- Lewis- Hamilton- Herkimer- Oneida BOCES
20104 NYS Route 3
Watertown, NY


Central New York

Syracuse-May 17 (6:30 PM)
Onondoga Community College
4585 West Seneca Turnpike
Syracuse, NY

Southern Tier

Binghamton– May 18 (8:30 AM)
Broome County Community College
907 Upper Front Street
Binghamton, NY

Mid-Hudson/Westchester

Orange County Chamber of Commerce-June 27 (6:30 PM)
30 Scott’s Corners Drive
Montgomery, NY

White Plains- June 28 (6:30 PM)
New York Power Authority
123 Main Street
White Plains, NY

New York City

Manhattan- July 11 (8:30 AM)
Pace University
Schimmel Center for the Arts
Multipurpose Room
3 Spruce Street
New York, NY

Bronx- July 11 (6:30 PM)
Hutch Metro Center
1200 Waters Place
Bronx, NY

Harlem-August 7 (6:30 PM)
City College of New York
160 Convent Avenue
New York, NY

Brooklyn-August 7 (8:30 AM)
Brooklyn College
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

Staten Island - August 8 (6:30 PM)
Joan and Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island
1466 Manor Road
Staten Island, NY

Queens- August 22 (8:30 AM)
Flushing YMCA
138-46 Northern Blvd.
Flushing, NY

Long Island

Nassau- May 3 (6:00 PM)
Hofstra University
1000 Fulton Avenue
Hempstead, NY

Suffolk-May 3 (8:30 AM)
Western Suffolk BOCES Conference Center
Wheatley Heights, NY

Information on the workshops will be posted on the small business website www.NYOpenforSmallBusiness.com. Business owners and organizations interested in learning more about or getting involved in the Small Business Outreach Initiative should contact smallbusinessinfo@exec.ny.gov.