Launch of ‘NYC Small Business Resource Network’

Public-private partnership creates new resource for employers hit by the pandemic

September 30, 2020 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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NEW YORK — The NYC Small Business Resource Network was launched today in response to the crisis facing many of the city’s over 230,000 small businesses. The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the Partnership for New York City and the Partnership Fund, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), in collaboration with New York City Department of Small Business Services, Chambers of Commerce of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island, joined forces to launch a one-stop shop to accelerate the recovery of small businesses and strengthen the city’s economy.

This public-private partnership is funded by a $2.8 million grant from the New York City-based Peterson Foundation. It will also pull together in-kind contributions from the other partners and additional resources from government and the private sector. 

At the heart of the Resource Network is the newly-established team of 22 dedicated Small Business Specialists who will be embedded within the five chambers of commerce. These individuals will work directly with local entrepreneurs in the hardest hit communities, helping them gain access to a range of programs and services. The Network will focus on minority-, women- and immigrant-owned businesses that have limited access to the help they need to survive the pandemic. 

The Partnership for New York City and EDC are leveraging their relationships with the city’s corporate, financial and professional services sectors, as well as universities, philanthropies and expert volunteers to assemble an unprecedented collaboration among New Yorkers who are determined to accelerate small business recovery. Advisory services will be ramping up over the next few weeks to help small businesses navigate a range of challenges including technology, real estate, legal and accounting services, procurement opportunities, marketing, and sources of loans and grants. There will also be assistance for navigating the complex new regulatory environment established to contain the pandemic.

Business owners can access those resources by contacting a Recovery Specialist in their borough at Assistance will be available in multiple languages. 

Approximately 1.3 million people are employed by the city’s 236,000 small business with fewer than 100 employees, and more than half of the city’s small business workers are employed by businesses with fewer than 20 employees; 90% of the city’s small businesses have fewer than 20 employees.

“New York City’s diverse small businesses are an essential part of our community and a powerful engine of employment and economic growth,” said Michael Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.  “By sustaining and supporting these entrepreneurs, we can help accelerate the renewal of our economy and help build a better and more inclusive future for New York City.”  

“As a small business owner and a committed New Yorker, I believe our city’s future depends on how we mobilize to support the entrepreneurs who bring unique products and services to our neighborhood shopping districts. They make New York City infinitely exciting and special. We cannot let them down,” said Sarah Jessica Parker, Founder & Owner, SJP Collection. 

“Small businesses form the backbone of our city’s economy, and I commend NYCEDC, Peterson Foundation, Partnership for New York City, and Five Borough Chambers of Commerce for creating this important initiative to help businesses recover,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “Through this public-private partnership, we aim to foster a more equitable city where small businesses can grow and thrive.”

“Our small businesses uplift and enrich our communities, and their success is critical to the City’s economic recovery,” said James Patchett, President and CEO of New York City Economic Development Corporation. “The small business community was hit hard by the pandemic and initiatives like this, which provide access to resources and expertise, are key to helping them rebuild. We are proud to be part of an effort that is supporting our small business community and building a stronger city for us all.”  

“The small business community has been shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic and this is our latest commitment to ensure that small businesses get the resources they need by connecting them to services to help them to reopen and recover,” said Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “We are working together with the Chambers of Commerce in all five boroughs to identify the most pressing needs of our small business owners and help them come back.”

“Small businesses are an integral part of New York City’s economy. We are proud to partner with the Peterson Foundation and the city’s civic and business leaders to mobilize resources in the communities that need it most,” said Maria Gotsch, President and CEO of the Partnership Fund. “These resources, coupled with hands-on support from Small Business Specialists, will help tackle barriers to economic recovery and expand opportunities for small and minority-owned businesses across the five boroughs.”

“We must continue to do all that we can to give our borough’s economically vital small businesses the urgent support and services to survive during this unprecedented crisis,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “I applaud the Bronx Chamber of Commerce for their important work on behalf of our small business community and want to thank the Peterson Foundation, New York Economic Development Corporation and the Partnership for New York City for launching the New York City Small Business Resource Network, an important new resource to help our small business rebound from this global pandemic. Our Bronx small businesses and entrepreneurs, who have been forced to adapt due to the extremely changing landscape created by the COVID-19 pandemic are an essential component of our borough’s recovery. Protecting vulnerable local job-creators, while preserving employment opportunities for our hard working residents and providing them with the necessary resources to recover, is more important than ever.”

“The small businesses that are the backbone of Brooklyn’s economy and neighborhoods have been crushed by the COVID-19 pandemic and it is imperative that we help this community get back on its feet,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “The NYC Small Business Resource Network provides the resources, tools and on-the-ground support that small businesses urgently need to survive and remain competitive in the future. I thank the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and its partners for their continued advocacy on behalf of our business community to ensure a robust and just recovery.” 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Manhattan’s small businesses especially hard and so our city and Chambers of Commerce must be prepared with long-term solutions to meet the full weight of this crisis as we concentrate on a full recovery for the hardest hit communities,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “The NYC Small Business Resource Network is a hopeful sign and a significant investment in our city’s economic recovery by the Peterson Foundation, the Partnership Fund for New York City, and the leading Chambers of Commerce in all five boroughs and we are truly grateful. I am looking forward to working closely with Manhattan Chamber of Commerce president Jessica Walker and the Chamber’s new Recovery Specialists as they unlock new opportunities and provide a key lifeline for our Borough’s small businesses.”

“Queens businesses have been hit with an unprecedented series of challenges due to COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn,” said Queens Borough President Sharon Lee. “New York’s economic recovery and rebuild depends upon these businesses bouncing back. This critical partnership among the Peterson Foundation, the Partnership for New York City, NYCEDC and the Chambers of Commerce will help make sure our local businesses have the resources they need to come roaring back to full speed.”

“The recovery of our local small businesses is a vital piece of New York City’s economic and societal recovery. This NYC Small Business Resource Network is the type of collaboration this city needs to allow our small business in each borough to survive,” said Staten Island Borough President Oddo.

“We are extremely grateful to the Peterson Foundation and NYC EDC for developing and investing in the Small Business Resource Network. This program will help The Bronx Chamber provide additional services with partners and specialist from across the five boroughs. We are super excited to get our two specialist out on the street to meet the business owners, develop relationships, and provide them with one on one help as we move past the crisis and expedite the recovery. The Bronx has been through tough times, but we have always come back bigger and better.  At the end of the day, ‘The Bronx Means Business,’”said Lisa Sorin, President and CEO of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.

“The survival and future viability of Brooklyn’s economy depends on the success of 64,000 small businesses across the borough,” said Randy Peers, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “Learning from business owners in crisis during the pandemic, and especially MWBE business owners, we created the NYC Small Business Resource Network as a lifeline to provide grants, rent relief and discrete recovery services that small businesses need to stay open and sustain our communities.”

“Salvaging the small business sector in the wake of COVID-19 is central to the city’s economic recovery,” said Jessica Walker, President and CEO of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. “This initiative brings together the people and resources needed to give us a fighting chance to help as many businesses as we can during this crisis.”

“We are tremendously grateful to The Partnership for NYC, the Peterson Foundation and NYC EDC for their support in helping our great borough’s hard-hit businesses get back on their feet,” said Thomas J. Grech, President and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce. “Here at the Queens Chamber, we have been working around the clock, providing resources to struggling businesses throughout the pandemic. The addition of knowledgeable, skilled Business Recovery Specialists to the Queens Chamber team will be critical in the next step of our efforts, as we reopen and get Queens back to business.”

“Our Chamber has been working hard to help all businesses, even the very smallest, during these trying times,” said Linda Baran, President and CEO of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. “I would like to thank the Peterson Foundation, NYC EDC, and the Partnership for New York City for their commitment in making sure that struggling businesses in all of New York City get the resources they need. Leveraging resources to give these businesses the best chance to survive  is critical. We are so grateful to the Peterson Foundation for their support which will allow us to serve small businesses in every corner of Staten Island.”

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