Bedford-Stuyvesant

Chamber On-the-Go expands citywide

Program offers on-street advice to business owners

November 25, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilmember Robert Cornegy Jr. developed the program with help from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. Photo courtesy of Cornegy’s office
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An innovative program developed by Councilmember Robert Cornegy Jr. to have financial experts in a van visit different neighborhoods in the borough to answer questions from business owners is expanding citywide, officials announced.

Cornegy, the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the leaders of Chambers of Commerce from all five boroughs announced this week the expansion of the Chamber On-the-Go program to connect the city’s 2,000 small business owners with free services to help their companies thrive.

Chamber On-the-Go, which was developed by Cornegy in cooperation with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce in 2014, will now be available all over the city. SBS will oversee the program.

The program will deploy trained business specialists to conduct storefront visits to small business owners in neighborhoods across the five boroughs to respond directly to the individualized needs of each business by connecting business owners with relevant SBS, Chamber and local resources, including services like financing assistance, pro bono legal advice, employee recruitment and help with navigating government. 

Cornegy (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant), who is the chairman of the council’s Small Business Committee, said small businesses are important to the New York’s economy and that the city must support them in every way possible.

“We can’t do it without them, so we have to make sure that small business owners in every community get the expert assistance SBS and its partners can provide, even if running their businesses keeps them too busy to seek it out. Chamber On-the-Go is expanding the city’s ability to reach our amazing mom and pops and ensure that we’re hearing from them and doing everything we can we can to support their success,” Cornegy said.

“SBS is committed to ensuring that every small business owner can access the resources they need to thrive in New York City. The citywide expansion of Chamber On-the-Go is an important new step for our agency as we partner with the City Council and chambers to provide on-the-ground support for the communities that need it most,” said Andrew Schwartz, acting commissioner of SBS

Chamber On-the-Go has conducted 1,400 visits since its launching last year.

“The Brooklyn Chamber is proud to have created the Chamber On-the-Go program with Council Member Robert Cornegy, Jr. In little over a year, we brought our services to the doorsteps of 1,400 businesses in commercial corridors in every single council district across New York City. As we further expand Chamber On-the-Go citywide, it’s crucial that we focus on the direct assistance services we are providing businesses,” said Carlo A. Scissura, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Linda Baran, president and CEO of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, said her borough is excited to have the program. “Staten Island is proudly still ‘Small Town USA’ and as a community, we love to support our local mom and pop shops. Chamber On-the-Go will connect underserved business corridors on the Island to a myriad of services aimed at keeping them informed while helping them flourish,” she said.

Chamber On-the-Go is funded by the New York City Council with program implementation overseen by SBS and will be executed by the chambers in each borough.

Specialists will also collect feedback from business owners on the challenges they face.

Business owners interested in learning more about Chamber On-the-Go can visit nyc.gov/chamberonthego.


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