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Event Recap: 2016 Business Assistance Forum

The 2016 Business Assistance Forum presented by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Baruch College welcomed over 90 small business owners and employees on October 25th. This year’s event was titled “CLICK HERE for Small Business Growth”, and provided four concurrent workshops on brand strategy, digital marketing, and human resource management.

Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein opened the event, celebrating the College’s close relationship with the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. “Baruch is proud to be a longstanding partner with the Flatiron BID and we appreciate the many enhancements to the area’s business community and neighborhood overall.” President Wallerstein noted the range of industries present at the Business Assistance Forum, including restaurants, real estate agencies, educational organizations, and marketing firms. While the business categories were diverse, attendees had a shared interest in using digital marketing strategies to grow their businesses.  

Sabrina Kizzie, professor of marketing and social media at Baruch College’s Division of Continuing and Professional Studies (CAPS) delivered the keynote address. “Social media is changing every day and it is something you need to be involved with as a business owner. This is your turn to show your company’s story.” Furthermore, she stressed that business owners must know how to respond to users on social media, because of consumers’ high expectations. “Twitter is the new customer service”, she continued, adding that video live streaming and visual communication will be next year’s most important social media marketing tools.

Guests were then invited to select one of four concurrent workshops taught by instructors based in the Flatiron District, including Spider Graham and Denise Patrick from Baruch CAPS, Terry Rice from General Assembly, and Jessie McGuire and Trenton Kenagy from ThoughtMatter. In addition to the workshops, nine resource tables were onsite to provide information about support for small businesses in the city. Among these were the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Office of Emergency Management, NYC Business Solutions, and TD Bank, which sponsored the breakfast for the event.

Jennifer Brown, Executive Director of the Flatiron BID, expressed her gratitude to the organizations that contributed to the success of the event. “The Business Assistance Forum is integral to the BID’s mission of serving the local business community. Each year, we celebrate the diversity of businesses in our neighborhood, and thanks to our partners, we are able to provide resources that help businesses at all stages of their growth.”

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Introducing @leonellinyc’sFocacceria e Pasticceria 🍩☕️a bakery/cafe bringing the traditional Italian pastry shop to the neighborhood #DiscoverFlatiron #LeonelliNYC . Link in bio for details ⤴️ . 📸: @lmbittner
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