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City unveils $11M ‘concierge service’ for small businesses

Called 'Quick Start', it promises 48-hour response to inquiries

June 23, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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A new plan introduced by Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Small Business Commissioner Jonnell Doris to create an $11 million “concierge service” for small businesses has gotten good reviews from the business community, officials and others in public life.

The service, known as NYC Business Quick Start, is designed to cut red tape, especially in those situations where, in the past, small business owners would have to get multiple approvals from several city agencies for a project. 

It will provide small businesses one point of contact to help navigate city regulations as well as a public dashboard. The program guarantees a 48-hour response to all small-business inquiries, according to the city.

The city expects 50,000 small businesses to benefit from NYC Business Quick Start as well as from other Small Business Services business-assistance programs. 

NYC Business Quick Start will use the services of 100 city personnel who work for a host of agencies, including Small Business Services, the Department of Buildings, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).  

Councilmember Robert Cornegy (D-Bushwick-Bed-Stuy-Crown Heights). Photo courtesy of Cornegy

“Anything that can truly help demystify and streamline the process for opening a new or reopening an existing business in NYC is a welcome development,”  said Randy Peers, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “Government bureaucracy and red tape have long plagued our businesses, and the new concierge program can bring some welcome relief, especially as we look to recover from COVID.”

“For independent entrepreneurs, New York City is often a place that stifles creativity. We need safety for our workers and neighbors, but the challenges of a small business cutting through the bureaucracy of DOB, DEP, DOHMH and FDNY can be insurmountable. This new concierge service offers a way to level the playing field,” said Councilmember Robert Cornegy, Jr. (D-Brooklyn).

“As the former commissioner of the NYC Department of Business Services, I am well aware of the need for coordinated responses from city government when it comes to our business community,” said Prof. Wallace Ford of Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College. “NYC Business Quick Start is exactly the kind of initiative that is needed as businesses, small and large, seek to fully participate in the recovery of New York City.”

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Randy Peers. Photo: Paul Frangipane/Brooklyn Eagle

“The Bronx Chamber is a longtime advocate of increased access to business startup supports for our City’s entrepreneurs,” said Lisa Sorin, president of the New Bronx Chamber of Commerce. “As we rebuild toward a strong post-pandemic future, the Bronx Chamber is thrilled that this interagency initiative will alleviate red tape and make it easier to open or reopen a business.”

For more information on NYC Business Quick Start, visit nyc.gov/business or call 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).


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