The burden of extra costs, excessive fines and needless red tape facing immigrant businesses in New York City was on the mind of Public Advocate Bill deBlasio when he spoke recently to members of the Guyana American Business and Professional Council (GABPC) at their 5th Annual Awards Gala at the LaGuardia Marriott Hotel.
In his keynote address to the group, DeBlasio called on City government to by-pass the red-tape and slow paced development that burden the immigrant business community, and suggested instead that lines of credit and legal opportunities be offered to the group for economic growth.
“Immigrants start businesses at twice the rate of native-born citizens, based on a survey by Kaufmann Index of Entrepreneurial Activity,” he said, adding that 90% of the businesses were started and maintained without City help.
“Immigrants are basically ignored in this country, a nation that is quintessential for immigrant opportunities,” DeBlasio said, challenging the city to dole out more funds needed to help immigrant communities.
The mayoral hopeful singled out Guyanese nationals that he said brought their unique multi-cultural nation to America, and built upon it. “This is a community that understands what is necessary to have a working neighborhood with a connection between the people and government.
“The Guyanese community is a dynamic part of Queens,” he added.
Guyana Ambassador to the US, the Hon. Bayney Karran who was honored with the prestigious GABPC Award, commended the organization that he said has built mutually beneficial connections between American and Guyanese business and professional communities.
Karran expressed admiration for US-based Guyanese that he noted have established scores of organizations, from medical outreach to educational alumni, religious, cultural and sporting organizations that provide support for the needs of Guyana’s citizens.
Congratulating the honorees, Executive Director of GABPC, and Director of Marketing & Advertising for The Queens Tribune, Shanie Persaud, emphasized the importance of GABPC through its motto: Embracing Diversity, Honoring Excellence.