QUEENS, New York. October 11, 2020 (Bill Parry/QNS) — As the possibility of a second federal coronavirus economic stimulus bill grows more remote by the week, the New York City Small Business Resource Network was launched with a newly-established team of dedicated specialists embedded within the city’s five chambers of commerce. These individuals will work directly with local entrepreneurs in the hardest-hit communities, helping them gain access to a range of programs and services.
The Partnership for New York City and the city’s Economic Development Corporation are leveraging their relationships with corporate, financial and professional service sectors, as well as universities, philanthropies and expert volunteers to assemble an unprecedented collaboration among New Yorkers who are determined to accelerate small business recovery.
This public-private partnership is funded by a $2.8 million grant from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in partnership with the city’s Small Business Services and the five chambers. “We are tremendously grateful to the Partnership for NYC, the Peterson Foundation and NYCEDC for their support in helping our great boroughs hard-hit businesses get back on their feet,” Queens Chamber of Commerce President Thomas J. Grech said.
“Here at the Queens Chamber, we have been working around the clock, providing resources to struggling businesses throughout the pandemic. The addition of knowledgeable, skilled Business Recovery Specialists to the Queens Chamber team will be critical in the next step of our efforts, as we reopen and get Queens back to business.”
Small business owners can access the resources by contacting a Recovery Specialist in their borough at www.nycsmallbusinessresourcenetwork.org. Assistance will be provided in multiple languages. “Queens businesses have been hit with an unprecedented series of challenges due to COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn,” Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee said.
“New York’s economic recovery and rebuild depends upon these businesses bouncing back. This critical partnership among the Peterson Foundation, the Partnership for New York City, NYCEDC and the Chambers of Commerce will help make sure our local businesses have the resources they need to come roaring back at full speed.”
Nearly 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 fewer than 20 employees; 90% of the city’s small businesses have fewer than 20 employees.
“The small business community has been shaken 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 to reopen and recover,” Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Jonnel Doris said. “We are working together with the Chambers of Commerce in all five boroughs to identify the most pressing needs of our small business owners and help them come back.”