On Monday, December 5, the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) visited SUNY Farmingdale State College to celebrate the work of New York State’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs).
The centers, which serve local communities as the face of the NY Rising Small Business Program, were instrumental in assisting storm-damaged small businesses receive aid and to build back stronger and better following Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. To date, the Small Business Program has awarded more than 1,050 small businesses with more than $50 million small businesses across the State.
“Following Superstorm Sandy, many of the small businesses that were impacted by the storm suffered tremendously− lacking the capital necessary to recover and triggering a ripple effect on their employees and the residents who depended upon the goods and services they provided,” said Executive Director of GOSR, Lisa Bova-Hiatt. “But even during this moment of crisis, what we saw, were small businesses who loved their communities, who stepped in to help where they could, and who offered supplies and inventory to aid in the immediate response, as well as their neighbors in need. Next, it was our job to return the favor.”
Ms. Bova-Hiatt, as well as other members of GOSR’s leadership team− including Natalie Wright and Margaret Egiziaco, who have both overseen the Small Business Program since its infancy− discussed the evolution of the Small Business Program, which they described as being “flexible, yet action-oriented.” While building a program from the bottom-up did not come without its challenges, GOSR collaborated closely with the SBDCs to make targeted programmatic adjustments when needed− demonstrating a profound commitment to serve applicants, and contribute to the economic vitality of the State, to the fullest extent possible.
Over the last three years, GOSR has deemed more than 70 percent of its entire applicant pool eligible to receive funds, with over 750 small businesses fully-funded for every activity covered by the program.
The State’s SBDCs, led by Director James King, serve as outstanding examples of tremendous customer service for all those who walk through their doors. During the event, nine centers were awarded for their outstanding achievement, including: Binghamton University SBDC, Rockland Community College SBDC, Stony Brook University SBDC, Farmingdale State College SBDC, Mid-Hudson SBDC, University at Albany SBDC, Mohawk Valley SBDC, North Country SBDC, and Corning Community College SBDC.