City offers advice for immigrant small business owners

City offers advice for immigrant small business owners
Photo by Michael Shain
By Bill Parry

It’s Immigrant Heritage Week. The city Department of Small Business Services announced Tuesday a new guide offering step-by-step advice for immigrant entrepreneurs planning, launching, or growing a small business.

“Building Your Business in New York City: A Guide for Immigrant Entrepreneurs” offers advice on topics such as igning a commercial lease, navigating government, personal and business financial planning, staying compliant with business regulations and understanding the rights of immigrant New Yorkers.

The guide is part of the city’s Immigrant Business Initiative, launched by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2014 to support immigrant entrepreneurs, who own nearly half of all small businesses in New York City.

“As an immigrant whose grandmother supported the family through entrepreneurship, I know first-hand that owning a business has the power to change lives,” SBS Commissioner Gregg Bishop said. “By making information and resources available to immigrant New Yorkers in six languages, we’re helping all of our people, no matter their origin, pursue their dreams.”

The guide offers advice to tackle the common challenges faced by immigrant entrepreneurs and businesses. It will be available in Spanish, Chinese, Haitian, Creole, Russian, Korean and Bengali.

“Without immigrant entrepreneurship, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst would not be the thriving neighborhoods that it is today,” City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) said. “I thank the Department of Small Business Services for producing this guide to encourage more immigrants to pursue their dreams of owning a business and contributing to the economy of New York City.”

The new guide is available at www.nyc.gov/immigrantbusinesses..

SBS also announced over $1 million in grant awards funding that will help support community organization for neighborhood development across the city. The 82nd Street Partnership in Jackson Heights, Sunnyside Shines, the Rockaway Business Alliance and the Queens Economic Development Corporation were selected to receive grants awards to undertake projects in their neighborhoods.

“The Avenue NYC initiative is investing in local, community-based organizations to help strengthen and preserve small business corridors across our city,” Bishop said. “Small businesses are an essential part of building vibrant neighborhoods, and the grants we are awarding today will help meet tailored, local needs.”

Meanwhile, Sunnyside Shines announced tickets are now on sale for the 2017 Taste of Sunnyside, the one-of-a-kind culinary event staged in a block-long festival tent pitched underneath the No. 7 subway line at 46th Street and Queens Boulevard. The Sunnyside Shines BID produces the event to showcase the neighborhood as a dining destination. Nearly 30 restaurants serve samples of their best dishes.

“The Taste of Sunnyside is one of Sunnyside’s biggest annual events for a reason — the combination of diversity and community spirit is like no place else,” Sunnyside Shines Executive Director Jaime-Faye Bean said. “Ninety-five percent of attendees have told us that they plan to return to a restaurant they sampled for the first time at ‘The Taste,’ which says a lot about the quality of their experience.”

The event will take place May 23. Tickets are on sale at tasteofsunnyside.com, along with more information.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.