Starting and growing small businesses in Queens

Assemblyman William Scarborough with 29th AD Task Force Guest Speaker Harry Wells, regional director of York College Small Business Development Center who provided information on the invaluable resources and professional business counseling, mentoring and training provided free of charge to anyone thinking of starting a small business or growing their existing business.
Photo by Juliet Kaye

Assemblyman William Scarborough, chair of the Committee on Small Business, welcomed Harry Wells, regional director of York College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) as the guest speaker at his monthly Task Force Meeting.

The York College Small Business Development Center helps entrepreneurs by bringing together the resources of CUNY, NYS Small Business Development Centers, the Small Business Administration and the private sector. They see more than 600 people a year and provide between four to six million dollars a year in small business loans and have brought $90 million in contracts to Queens.

Since they opened their office at York College in 1988, they have helped 12,853 businesses and have created or saved 3,065 jobs. They are an invaluable resource for anyone thinking of starting any type of business, or with growing existing businesses. They provide professional business counseling, mentoring and training. Their seasoned professionals help with developing marketing plans, complying with licensing and regulations, as well as international trade financing and market expansion.

They recently launched the Capital Access Program with GPF Real Estate and Financing Corp., a subsidiary of Global Private Funding which will help SBEDC clients who normally would not be able to attract the attention of venture capital, private investors, underwriters and revenue financiers. Wells said the Capital Access Program is particularly timely because there are many large-scale commercial and infrastructure projects which will be completed in Queens over the next 20 years and the York SBDC will help M/WBEs compete and win bids and contract opportunities.The construction industry faces many challenges in obtaining funding and this program will give help with awarded contractors facing funding obstacles.

For anyone looking to start a business or expand their business, there is no cost for their personal counseling to help entrepreneurs with access to capital, business planning, financial management and starting a business. They help with business plan development,assessing business model viability, financial projections and planning, business growth guidance, international trade financing and market expansion and learning about the mechanics of exporting as well obtaining financing opportunities. They help small businesses with applying for Minority and Women Owned Business (M/WBE) Certification, as well as identifying appropriate bidding opportunities. They provide MWBE and small business contractors with training, technical assistance and credit support to secure surety bonds which are necessary for state contracts. To schedule an appointment or speak obtain information, call York College SBDC at 718-262-2880.

Assemblyman Scarborough’s 29th AD Task Force Meetings take place on the last Saturday of every month at the Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon. For additional information, call Scarborough’s District Office at 718-723-5412.

More from Around NYC