Flatiron Partnership Holds Business Assistance Forum at Baruch College
- Eric Shapiro
- On March 26, 2014
Compiled by Louis Hunecke, Eric Shapiro & Tod Shapiro – Edited by the Flatiron Hot! News Editorial Staff
Yesterday, the Flatiron Partnership held a Business Assistance Forum at the Newman Seminar and Conference Center at Baruch College. Students, aspiring entrepreneurs, business owners and consultants gathered for networking opportunities and for the purpose of sharing small business experiences. Workshops were convened by local businesses, city agencies and support groups to address the challenges of starting and running a small business. Among the topics discussed were accessing financing; building a personal and business brand through social media and blogs; productivity through cloud computing; and business growth management.
Special guest speaker City Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Chair of the Committee on Small Business, highlighted some of the major issues that business owners and entrepreneurs face. Among the roadblocks Cornegy mentioned was the difficulty start ups have in finding the capital required to open up shop. Securing financing can be difficult if not impossible without some city program assistance. Large banks are often hesitant to offer loans to start-up business owners; poor credit, lack of collateral, and lack of work experience can discourage banks from lending. Councilman Cornegy’s speech emphasized his desire to press the City Council to provide more assistance to local businesses through greater financing opportunities and increased awareness of city programs. But no matter how reluctant the City Council and large companies may be to help out small businesses, the greatest obstacle to securing finance is often the lack of information.
Business owners and entrepreneurs are unaware of the programs the city and federal government offer to finance their new start ups. As one representative of NYC Business Solutions expressed, “It’s just amazing how taxpayers don’t know about the programs they are paying for that can help them with their small business problems”. Services offered by NYC Business Solutions, NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, and NYC Business Acceleration and others can be helpful for the struggling start up.
The workshops that took place at the meeting — provided at no charge as a service to the Flatiron District and Chelsea by the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership BID as part of its mission to support the district’s residents and businesses — included the aforementioned local experts in industry lecturing on social media and blogging, small business finance, and the utilization of cloud storage for document management by businesses of all types. Among those leading the sessions and available to speak afterwards on an individual basis were representatives of the city agency NYC Business Solutions as well as area businesses and notables such as Tekserve and inbound marketing maven Matthew Capala of “Searchdecoder” Blog fame. (Click Here for a run down of some of Matt’s comments at the workshop.)
As a special treat, those at the session got to see a first-hand demonstration of the remarkable and game-changing technology of “3-D Printing”. An actual printer was set up and created complex 3D models for the inspection of attendees. Local businesses can take this as an example of the cutting-edge techniques that are needed for NYC to continue to thrive and grow, and to serve, no doubt, as inspiration.
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