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2018 Business Assistance Forum Recap

The 2018 Business Assistance Forum, presented by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Baruch College, welcomed nearly 100 entrepreneurs and small business owners on September 12th. Titled "Power Up! Leveraging Technology for Small Business Growth", this year's event focused on marketing, branding, data analytics, and cybersecurity.

The Forum began with a networking breakfast provided by TD Bank, and attendees gathered helpful information on running their business in New York City from resource tables staffed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, NYC Department of Small Business Services - Division of Business Services, Ready New York, Baruch College's Field Center for Entrepreneurship, School of Continuing and Professional Studies (CAPS), and Small Business Development Center.

"Small businesses are essential to our local economy and the character of our neighborhoods," said Jennifer Brown, Executive Director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. "When we support small businesses and help them grow, it translates into more jobs, vibrant neighborhoods, and a better quality of life."

"Small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurial enterprises are vital to New York City's economy and culture," said Christina Latouf, Vice President for Communications, External Relations and Economic Development at Baruch College. "For nearly a decade, Baruch has partnered with the Flation BID to present the Small Business Assistance Forum, which offers free workshops and networking opportunities that help entrepreneurs and small business owners launch, invigorate, or grow their ventures."

The opening session featured a keynote discussion with District 2 City Councilmember Carlina Rivera and Rachel Van Tosh, Deputy Commissioner for Business Services at the New York City Department of Small Business Services. Their discussion was moderated by Ben Max, Executive Editor of Gotham Gazette

"Small businesses have great opportunities but there are many, many challenges," said Max, who led the discussion that touched on accessing available resources, technology, disaster preparedness, and legislation that impacts small businesses in NYC.

"All of our neighborhoods are changing," said Councilmember Rivera, describing the challenges small business owners face in starting and preserving their business. "It's really making sure our small business owners know how many services are already available and making sure we're able to help them navigate what is an alphabet soup of agencies."

"Certainly helping businesses adapt to economic and neighborhood change is one of the top things we see, and the number one thing we hear from businesses is access to capital," said Deputy Commissioner Van Tosh.

Following the keynote, Forum attendees selected one of four educational workshops. These included 'Launching Your Startup with a Great Marketing Plan', led by Scott Kerr of Silvertone Consulting; 'Intro to Data Analytics' by Nikolai Chowdhury of General Assembly; 'Cybersecurity: Protect Your Business' by Gary Podorowsky of NYU Stern School of Business and Baruch College Continuing and Professional Studies; and 'How to Launch a Lean Startup', led by Katie Schloss of The Stories She Told.

Please click on the links below to download the workshop presentations.

Launching Your Startup with a Great Marketing Plan

Intro to Data Analytics

Cybersecurity: Protect Your Business

How to Launch a Lean Startup