Town Opens Small Business Resource & Recovery Center

Filed under: Around Town,Government,News |

Town Hall Press Release
Credit: A.J. Carter
September 15, 2011

Center will provide tools that help small businesses form and grow

The Town of Huntington announces that it is creating a Small Business Resource and Recovery Center at Town Hall to stimulate economic development in the town by helping to provide small businesses with advice and tools that will help them succeed.

The Center, which will be located at Town Hall, will help teach entrepreneurs how to create business plans, link them with contacts in banking and financial services and provide research materials from respected sources such as local universities to help businesses form, succeed and grow.

The Center will also provide advice and resources to help small businesses with recovery strategies that will allow them to weather natural disasters and other unplanned business interruptions.

“Small business is the bedrock of our economy, and the success of small businesses should lead our economic recovery,” Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said. “This center underscores our commitment to grow the Huntington economy by encouraging the formation of new businesses and helping guide businesses away from the pitfalls that could impede success.”

“People can spend time at the center doing research on how to start a new business and to preserve and protect and preserve their existing business when unforeseen events occur,” said Councilman Mark Mayoka. Councilman Mayoka, an accountant who also has a law degree, will be volunteering his time and services to answer questions from businesses and prospective businesses. Mayoka also envisions drawing on the expertise and connections from the area chambers of commerce and business improvement districts.

The center will have computers and Internet access for businesses to conduct their research and write their business plans. The Town, through the center, will direct businesses to local banks and other service providers who have agreed to provide services at reduced cost.

By applying the innovative ideas generated by the Center to pre-existing small businesses, the Town hopes to bring forth and regenerate current slow markets. To implement these ideas, the Center will be assisting those small businesses with creating and cultivating their own websites, providing computer tutorials, training, increasing networking capabilities and opportunities to refresh business opportunities within the community.  Additionally, a dedicated website, currently under construction, will provide additional resource tools to those individuals interested in procuring information online.

“Huntington’s business community covers the gamut from international corporate headquarters to mom-and-pop retail stores,” Councilman Mark Cuthbertson said. “Our job, as a Town government, is to create the environment and provide the resources for businesses at all levels to succeed, and this center is a logical extension of our efforts.”

“This center, combined with the Huntington Station business incubator that will be opening shortly, demonstrates Huntington’s commitment to growing our economy,”  said Councilwoman Susan Berland. “The more these small businesses succeed, the better off all of us are.”

In today’s tough economic climate, small businesses both new and seasoned have a lot of challenges in the marketplace, which is why it’s important to provide this valuable assistance program to those who are economically affected, said Councilwoman Glenda Jackson. Helping to boost the small business sector on the local level is something that each town across the country should embrace, added Jackson.

The Center is expected to open next week. Among its first initiatives will be to help small businesses that may have been affected by tropical Storm Irene seek assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Administration. Applications will be available at the Center.

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