Since 1987, the Rockland Community College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has worked directly with nearly 20,000 businesses, creating or saving thousands of jobs. The program is administered by State University of New York and funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of New York, and host campuses.
RCC’s SBDC provides small business owners and entrepreneurs in Rockland and Westchester with the highest quality, confidential business counseling, training and business research at no cost. It has spent the last several weeks learning about the anticipated impact of Covid-19 on small businesses and their employees, clients and communities and has been helping hundreds to apply for SBA low interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans already.
To protect both clients and staff, all interactions are electronic at this point and the SBDC has expanded its use of technology to facilitate client meetings. These efforts range from email to video conferencing, file sharing and enhanced phone conferencing services. Many of the SBDC’s seminars and workshops will transition to electronic formats so staff can continue to deliver important information and updates to businesses in need.
“Being housed at Rockland Community College has enabled us to support local businesses because of the ease of access, staff and technology in place,” says Tom Morley, Regional Director of the NY SBDC at RCC “At this critical time, we are able to work not just at the college, within the specified safety protocols, but also work remotely to provide small to midsized businesses with the support they need to get the answers to their questions as well as facilitate the loan application process. While the online system is certainly feeling the pressure of so many applications coming in at once, we are here personally to answer questions and guide people through the process and provide a sense of hope.”
While some businesses aren’t sure about when they might be up and running again, others are able to identify opportunities with the help of Morley’s team. RCC’s SBDC helped a client set up a sewing operation a few years ago and the business is now under contract with the governor’s office to help sew masks for hospitals and first responders. “RCC’s SBDC is making a real difference,” Morley says, “and offering people a chance to be in a better position after this is over.”
For details on what paperwork is needed and to start the loan application process, visit this link: www.sunyrockland.edu/