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Mayor touts new initiative to help small businesses get online – QNS.com

Mayor touts new initiative to help small businesses get online

By Rich Bockmann

Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in downtown Jamaica Thursday to announce the launch of a series of free courses aimed at getting small businesses online.

The courses, part of a new city initiative called the Small Business Digital Toolkit, will instruct business owners on how to create or bolster an online presence with tools such as a website, payment systems, search-engine optimization techniques and social media sites such as Facebook, Foursquare and Tumblr. The classes would be held in the local branch of the city’s Business Solutions Center at 168-25 Jamaica Ave.

“If you have a very small business you don’t have the kind of resources to have a staff to do these kinds of things,” the mayor said from inside the center. “They read about it and they have friends who have businesses and it’s working for them and they say, ‘Well what about me?’ They don’t even know what the questions to ask are.”

Along with resources available on the city’s website, the courses are designed to help businesses attract customers and market their products or services both online and through mobile devices.

The first class is scheduled for Sept. 20 from 2-5 p.m. in Jamaica. Bloomberg said those interested in signing up should visit nyc.gov or call 311.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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