Village of Haverstraw to Host Entrepreneurial Expo

BY DYLAN SKRILOFF

Haverstraw’s RCC extension will host event that’s been held in Dutchess County in previous years.

Scenes from a past expo

The 6th Annual Hudson Valley Entrepreneurial Conference and Expo will be held Friday, May 11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Rockland Community College Haverstraw Extension Campus in the Village of Haverstraw. This is the first time the expo will be held in Rockland County after five years in Dutchess County.

The expo is hosted annually by Gateway to Entrepreneurial Tomorrows, Inc., a non-profit business incubator which was founded in 2005 by Marist College School of Management and Mid Hudson Pattern for Progress, and has since grown to include offices in Poughkeepsie, Newburgh and Haverstraw. GET President Rob Lunksi boasts that businesses who utilize GET for advice have a higher rate of success than ones that go it alone.

The Expo will include a day of:

 Networking

 Seminars

 One-on-One Business Counseling Sessions

 Workshops and how-to clinics

 Attorneys, IRS reps available for advice

 Learn from experienced business leaders who will share their knowledge.

Up to 60 booths will be reserved at the event by local businesses, non-profits and other participants. It is meant to serve both as a one-stop shop for those seeking advice in entrepreneurship as well as a chance for business-to-business promotion and to shine a light on the village.

Lunski said of the expo, “It’s a good for businesses who want to promote what they do to the community. We want people from all around to see Haverstraw is a good place.”

Haverstraw Mayor Mike Kohut is enthused about the coming expo. He said, “GET was brought into the Village to help improve the business community here, by encouraging entrepeneurship and business expansion. They are an important partner for us as we look to reinvigorate the downtown. This expo will bring exposure to the village, as well as introduce prospective business people to services that they need to get themselves started. The village is part of the steering committee for this event and working with GET to make it a success.”

Lunski, a native Argentine who has a PhD in non-profit work, says he’s currently working with 23 businesses in the village. He boasted that 70 percent of the businesses GET works with are still open in two year’s time while the average business does not last two years. “Oftentimes entrepreneurs have trade skill but lack business skills. We train them on the business skills and then create a business plan,” he said. “Most businesses that fail, fail because of poor management and poor planning.”

GET’s charter is focus on working with minority communities, where Lunski said a focus on small business skills is most urgently needed, although all are welcome to apply and about 20 percent of their clients in the Hudson Valley are indeed white.

For more information about the expo or GET’s programs call 845-787-4127 or info@gethudsonvalley.org