2016-06-22 / Front Page

Community Cornerstone Business Initiative Launch

NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Gregg Bishop announced the launch of the Community Cornerstone Business Initiative, honoring 23 longstanding small businesses from across the five boroughs with free marketing support and tailored educational services. From landscaping in Brooklyn to family eateries on Staten Island, the selected Community Cornerstone Businesses have served New York City communities for at least 20 years, and were nominated by local elected officials and key community stakeholders. The inaugural group of honorees will have access to a suite of free supportive services, including one-on-one advising sessions with business experts, comprehensive marketing assessment, pre-paid access to a .NYC domain name for one year, an on-site consultation from SBS’ Chamber-on-the-Go team, and the opportunity to be featured in a citywide advertising campaign. For a full list of Community Cornerstone Business benefits, visit nyc.gov/cornerstonebiz.
The Department of Small Business Services is committed to helping small businesses to start, operate and grow. There are 220,000 small businesses in our City – each employing up to 100 people – that represent nearly 95 percent of all the businesses in New York City.  Last year, SBS served more than 6,800 businesses at Business Solutions Centers around the City, and helped more than 3,700 small businesses to navigate City regulations.  These businesses are not only crucial to our City and neighborhoods, but they also serve as an equalizer.
“Small businesses employ more than half of New York City’s private sector workforce, bringing character and vibrancy to individual neighborhoods,” said Bishop. “The Community Cornerstone program not only celebrates their diversity and contributions to our economy, but also provides them with tools to continue thriving in their communities.”
Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Chair of the Committee on Small Business said, “The proprietors of the shops being recognized as Community Cornerstones spend so much time interacting with the public, yet, they can feel like they’re in it by themselves. Well, that’s not the case. I’m proud that our city government is committed to celebrating and uplifting the diverse businesses that provide jobs and services for local residents and make our unique commercial strips hum with energy. May each one of them continue to thrive and grow for decades to come.”
Located in neighborhoods across New York City, the inaugural group of 23 Community Cornerstone Businesses in Queens includes:
•    Apollo Comfort Shoes —In business since 1978, this Bayside shop sells shoes and accessories, offers shoe repair service and donates to local churches and charities.
•    Bell Bay Florist —Opened in 1976, this Bayside floral shop creates floral arrangements for all types of special occasions and supports Bayside Little League through donations and advertisements.
•    Eddie’s Sweet Shop —Established in 1909, this Forest Hills shop serves ice cream and other sweets, and regularly fundraises for such nonprofits as St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the Wounded Warrior Project.
•    The Dance Shop —Opened in 1977, this Fresh Meadows business provides dancewear and supplies for every dance style.
•    The Tuxedo Shop of New York —In business since 1996, this Bayside business offers rental and retail options for tuxedos, suits, shoes, and accessories, and donates items to local schools for special events.
In addition to the Community Cornerstone Business Initiative, SBS will be offering a set of customized educational services tailored to the unique needs of longstanding small businesses. These offerings will include customized business workshops on topics like driving sales growth, improving team performance, and growing a business. SBS is also partnering with Google to host in-person and virtual workshops on website building and maximizing social media presence. These offerings will be open to all longstanding business owners, although Community Cornerstone Businesses will receive early access to register.
The Department of Small Business Services helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building thriving neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information on all of SBS’ services, go to nyc.gov/sbs, call 311, follow us them Facebook and Twitter, or visit their blog.


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