Guest Op-Ed: Brooklyn Chamber powered by Google

February 10, 2015 Carlo Scissura
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Did you know 53 percent of New York businesses do not have a website? Or that 97 percent of internet users look for local goods and services online?

Clearly, there is a huge digital gap between today’s consumer and New York’s small business owners, and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is striving to close that gap one business at a time.

At the Chamber’s Annual Winter Gala on December 18, we announced a new, exciting partnership with Google to launch Brooklyn GoDigital Powered by Google. This program provides onsite, one-on-one education of social media and digital platforms to help businesses get online and grow their customer bases.

Business owners can sign up to learn the very basics of getting their business online, including on Google My Business, Yelp for Business, Facebook and the Chamber’s own Explore Brooklyn.

Brooklyn GoDigital Powered by Google will reach immigrant and low-income neighborhoods, such as Brownsville, Canarsie and East New York. The program plans to enroll 100 businesses by the end of the year, with the hope of showing business owners monetary gains from getting their businesses online.

The program has already seen success, with over 30 businesses signed up around the borough, including S&B Florist in Prospect Lefferts Gardens and Smally West Indian Food Market in Canarsie.

Judith Denoon, owner of S&B Florist, delivers professional, high quality floral and gift items.  Denoon promotes her business and takes care of her customers, but she had never considered the online possibilities for her store.  In just her first appointment, Denoon created her Google My Business and Yelp Business pages, as well as a new Facebook page for her business, which has already reached 61 likes.

Smally West Indian Food Market also saw success in the program. Smally, originally from British Guiana (today, Guyana), works seven days per week in his store and is known by everyone in the neighborhood.  Previously found nowhere online, Smally now has Google My Business, Yelp Business, and Facebook Business pages after just one appointment.

To find out more about Brooklyn GoDigital Powered by Google and to get your business online, visit

Carlo A. Scissura is president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

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