It’s amazing what having an entrepreneurial mayor can do for the focus on small business in a city.
I’m speaking at the Small Business Summit today in New York City. The Summit is a gathering of Federal, State and Local agencies that serve small business such as the SBA, SCORE, SBDC and the NYC Department of Small Business Services.
The conference opened up with a brief presentation from Robert Walsh, Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services. While I’m sure that Mayor Bloomberg’s influence has not allowed them to solve many of the problems small businesses face in working with government agencies, several of his remarks got my attention.
1) They have created dozens of Small Business Solutions Centers and the most successful one if run by a for profit organization. (mixing govt and for-profit?)
2) They pro-actively reach out to employers and offer to bring them 5 qualified, trained candidates for every job opening. In the past, efforts amounted to begging for people to hire their trainees with ads in subways right next to the wanted posters. (They placed 359 workers with Whole Foods this quarter)
3) They are working on an initiative called Business Express to bring together all 18 agencies that small businesses might need to meet with, file with and comply with in a one stop shop – if they get that done every city in America should take note. (In another ungovernment like move, the web site for this effort, still a work in progress, is open to the public – Business Express)