By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Working on the theory that it’s important to help people right in their own backyard, the Brooklyn Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at City Tech has opened four new offices in neighborhoods that are still trying to recover the devastation brought by Superstorm Sandy last October.
“Eight months ago Sandy ravaged the Brooklyn community,” said Robert Piechota, regional director for the center. “Small Business owners were particularly hurt in that they sustained damage to business structures, lost inventory and lost business for weeks and months following the disaster,” he said.
“While the SBDC’s Brooklyn Headquarters remains at 25 Chapel St near DUMBO, the four new locations that are now open,” Piechota said.
Kingsborough Community College, at 2001 Oriental Boulevard, is one site. The phone number is 718-368-6782. There is also a new office in the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corp. headquarters at 402 Van Brunt St. The phone number is 347-765-2283.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard at 63 Flushing Ave. is hosting an office. The center’s satellite office is located in Building 93. The phone number is 718-797-0187. The center has also opened an office in Coney Island, at 1618 Mermaid Ave. The phone number is 718-797-0187.
SBDC has been active for the past eight months helping in the recovery process and has been successful in assisting local business owners secure capital to re-start their businesses, Piechota said.
“Establishing satellite SBDC offices out where the storm hit hardest has been a huge success in establishing relationships with those still struggling from the effects of Sandy,” Piechota said.
To date the Brooklyn SBDC has assisted small businesses secure over $3 million in capital with over one $1 million in loans pending, he said.
While the principle mission of the SBDC at the outreach centers is to assist with Sandy related issues sustained by small business owners, the centers can also assist with most any business matters such as loan submissions/re-submissions, alternative lending, cash flow analysis, marketing and business plan reviews, Piechota said.
All SBDC services are free of charge to the entrepreneurial public. The Brooklyn SBDC is part of the New York State Small Business Development Center.
The mission of the New York State SBDC is to provide expert management and technical assistance to start-up and existing businesses across the state, according to its website. The state SBDC is administered by the State University of New York and funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and New York State of New York and college campuses which host the program.
The SBDC has 24 campus-based regional centers and 29 outreach offices.