Rockland County Executive Ed Day, joined by U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Regional Administrator Kellie LeDet, SBA New York District Director Beth Goldberg and Rockland County Director of Economic Growth and Tourism Lucy Redzeposki, on Wednesday announced the signing of a Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) that will bring more SBA programs and services to new and existing small businesses throughout the County.
“We are excited to partner with the SBA to provide the resources that many of our small business owners seek, allowing them to thrive,” said County Executive Day. “We know that supporting our small business community only strengthens our local economy and improves the quality of life for all residents.”
The Memorandum, entered by County Executive Day and Director Goldberg at the County Executive’s Office in New City, marks the first time the SBA has entered into such an alliance with any county government in the State of New York. It aims to ease the accessibility of local small businesses to both federal and local free economic development programs, services and trainings.
“On behalf of the Obama Administration and SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, I am excited to be a part of ensuring that the local small businesses and entrepreneurs of Rockland County will now have a direct pipeline to the plethora of free SBA programs and services to help them start, grow and expand their small businesses,” said LeDet who oversees SBA’s Region 2 that covers New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “Stimulating the growth and development of small businesses is the #1 priority of the SBA and working together with Rockland County and SBA’s business resource partners, area small businesses will have all the tools needed to launch, thrive and grow,” she added.
The Strategic Alliance Memorandum between the SBA and Rockland County calls for more collaborations between the two entities on small business training programs; increases the accessibility and availability of business counseling services from SBA resource partners like SCORE, the New York State Small Business Development Centers and the Women’s Business Center to area small business owners; introduces local lenders to small businesses that need access to capital in order to grow and expand their businesses; and provides for government contracting training and certifications that will allow small businesses to gain access to federal contracting opportunities.
“This agreement has the potential to have transformative powers on the economic outlook for small businesses here in Rockland,” said Goldberg who is SBA’s New York District Director. “Combining and leveraging the offerings of both SBA and its resources with Rockland County will provide a big boost to small businesses looking to expand or diversify or to start-up. The net result will help spur economic growth and development which can transform the economic climate and landscape of this region and support and build upon existing economic development plans that the County has mapped out.”
For FY 2015, the SBA has approved a total of 64 loans totaling just over $28 million. The agency expects that the Alliance with Rockland County will help them delve deeper into the marketplace in order to make more small businesses and start-ups aware of their free programs, services and offerings. The net result will be an increase in access to SBA and more small businesses become aware of what SBA can do to help them. The agency anticipates the agreement to serve as a catalyst to bring more federal contracting opportunities to small businesses and as the launching pad to creating more job opportunities for local residents.
Specifically, this Agreement will help Rockland County embark on a sweeping campaign to attract the Chinese tourist to visit and enjoy all that Rockland has to offer. This unique partnership will help develop the campaign and assist local businesses in providing their services to the Chinese tourist.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy,” said Rockland County Director of Economic Growth and Tourism Lucy Redzeposki. “We are thrilled to collaborate with the SBA in creating new local jobs and connecting our small businesses to the resources they need to grow and succeed.”
Those interested in attending can register by e-mailing man-li.lin@sba. gov, RedzepoL@co.rockland.ny.us or call 845-638-5188.