Empowering Networking At CACCI Meeting

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The Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) held it’s monthly Small Business Power Breakfast Networking Meeting at Brooklyn Borough Hall, recently. The topic was “Business Opportunities in New York and the Global Marketplace.� Dr. Roy Hastick, founder and President of CACCI, conducted the meeting, assisted by CACCI resource partners Colette Burnett from J.P. Morgan Chase and Ernie Rossi from Washington Mutual Bank.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz was on hand to welcome everyone and to speak about “Brooklyn’s Renaissance� due to the great amount of development taking place throughout the borough. Markowitz said that it’s the administration’s job to open the doors of opportunity to CACCI members and other small business owners, but it’s their responsibility to do all that’s necessary to seize those opportunities. The Assistant Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Michael C. Smith, also greeted the assembled members and delivered some remarks on behalf of Mayor Bloomberg.

The meeting then moved on to special presentations in which valuable information was imparted to CACCI members regarding how to start and grow a small business. Wealth adviser Anthony Epps, President/CEO of A.E. Financial Group, gave many pointers about wealth creation and building. Vincent Hosang, President/CEO of Royal Caribbean Bakery, described from his own personal experience some of the ups and downs and ins and outs of starting one’s own business.
Glenis Henriquez, Director of External Affairs for SBS, passed on some especially crucial information for all minority and women owned businesses (MWBs) as to procurement opportunities with New York City. She explained that for the purpose of increasing the utilization of MWB's by City agencies, the Mayor has charged SBS with monitoring the procurement practices of all the mayoral agencies. Therefore, each month her department gets a “scorecard� of every dollar that was spent by all the agencies. This includes a breakdown of exactly how much money went to small MWBs, the percentage of contracts awarded, and the number of contracts. In this way SBS can keep track of precisely how many jobs went to how many minority and women owned businesses each month and specifically which businesses they were. “But there's a catch,� Henriquez said. “In order for the agencies to get credit for working with you as a minority-owned business, you need to get certified with our agency. If you're not certified, you're not on the radar. That is key!� Fortunately, getting certified with SBS is very easy. You can go directly to
www.nyc.gov/sbs to download the application.

Frank Dito, Economic Development Officer for the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), also alerted CACCI members to vital governmental services that small business owners shouldn’t miss out on. He said that his agency gave out over 3,400 loans last year, totaling over $460 million, and this year they’re on track to do even better. He explained, for instance, “If you're a small business looking to purchase your existing property, providing that you occupy over 51% of the space, SBA can help you with a loan to expand. Along with financial assistance,� he continued, “we also have many small business development programs that offer guidance as to how most effectively to operate your own business.� SBA’s office is located at 26 Federal Plaza at the corner of Broadway and Worth in Manhattan – bring ID and use the side entrance. To obtain help, a person can just drop in, no appointment necessary, every weekday between 10 AM and 2 PM. In concluding the meeting Roy Hastick urged CACCI members to take advantage of these resources and to spread the information about them. “As we say here, ‘Each one reach one,’� he said. “Sharing information is power.�


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