The NYC Small Business Resource Network was launched today in response to the crisis that devastated over 230,000 small businesses in the city. 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, have joined forces to launch a one-stop shop to accelerate small business recovery and strengthen the city’s economy.
This public-private partnership is funded by a $ 2.8 million grant from the Peterson Foundation of New York City. It will also be implemented by generous contributions from other partners and additional resources donated by the government and the private sector. At the heart of the Resource Network is a new team of 22 specialists dedicated to small businesses that will be included in the five chambers of commerce.
This team will work directly with local entrepreneurs in the most affected communities, helping them access a range of programs and services. The network will focus on businesses owned by minorities, women and immigrants who have limited access to the help they need to survive the pandemic. The pandemic has forced a third of small businesses in New York to close, and socio-economic disparities have been brought to light even more. While giants like Hudson Yards and the Oculus at the World Trade Center are likely to emerge intact from the tremendous economic losses caused by COVID-19, small business owners are struggling to stay afloat.
The Partnership for New York City and EDC are leveraging their relationships with the city’s business, financial and professional services sectors, as well as with universities, philanthropies and experienced volunteers to put together an unprecedented collaboration for New Yorkers who are determined to accelerate the recovery of small businesses.
Consulting services will increase in the coming weeks to help small businesses overcome a variety of challenges including technology, real estate, legal and accounting services, procurement opportunities, marketing, and sources of loans and grants. There will also be assistance in navigating the complex new regulatory environment set up to contain the pandemic. Entrepreneurs can access these resources by contacting a recovery specialist in their district at www.nycsmallbusinessresourcenetwork.org. Assistance will be available in multiple languages.
About 1.3 million people are employed by the city’s 236,000 small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and more than half of the city’s small business workers are employed by businesses with less than 20 employees; 90% of the small businesses in the city have fewer than 20 employees. “New York City’s diverse small businesses are an essential part of our community and a powerful engine for jobs and economic growth,” said Michael Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation. “By supporting and sustaining 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 longtime New Yorker, I believe the future of our city depends on how we mobilize to support entrepreneurs who bring unique products and services to the shopping areas of our neighborhoods. They make New York City infinitely exciting and special. We can’t disappoint them,” said Sarah Jessica Parker, founder and owner of 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 promote a fairer city where small businesses can grow and thrive. Our small businesses strengthen and enrich our communities, and their success is critical to the city’s economic recovery,” said James Patchett, President and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
“The small business community has been rocked 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 reopen and recover,” said Jonnel Doris. Commissioner of the New York Department of Small Business Services. “We are working with the Chambers of Commerce of all five districts to identify the most pressing needs of our small business owners and help them return.”
The various chamber of commerce representatives from the five major New York neighborhoods thanked The Partnership for NYC, the Peterson Foundation and NYC EDC for their support in helping the most affected companies get back on their feet, in the hope that this initiative will be an important step forward in restarting the Big Apple, which however continues to suffer.