2003-10-03 / Community

RDRC Hosts Seminar On How To Run A Business

Contributing Editor
By Miriam Rosenberg
RDRC Hosts Seminar On How To Run A Business By Miriam Rosenberg Contributing Editor

Rockaway’s new entrepreneurs are getting a boost from Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation’s (RDRC) new 12-month program called ‘Three Step Empowerment.’ The program offers guidance, counseling and grants to microenterprises – business owners who have no experience in running a business.

"It provides those individuals, who want to start a business, with two vital and important things – access to capital and technical assistance," said Tony Beckle, Director of Business and Professional Services at RDRC, explaining technical assistance as help in developing a business plan so the owner can proceed to go for loans from conventional sources such Chase and Greenpoint Banks."

The first phase in the overall program is the U.S. Trickle Up Program in which a qualified person receives a $700 grant as start up money for the new business. In the second phase, Project Enterprise, the new business owner qualifies for a loan of $1,500. The third phase, ACCION New York, will find the company owner qualifying for a loan up to $25,000.

William Mohan, Jr., formerly from Oklahoma and now a Rockaway resident, is an example of those who the program helps. Mohan, who is starting Expert Exterminating which will be located on New Haven Avenue, received the initial $500 of his grant from the Trickle Up program on September 24.

"I’ve seen some things in the field that can be improved, and I’m just trying to offer my services to the community," said Mohan, who previously worked with Acme Exterminating, Orkin and Eco-Lab and came to RDRC after a friend showed him an article in The Wave.

""Through that, I came and met Mr. Berkle and Miss [Valerie] West. They’ve been helping me set some goals, write a business plan … just things that are important to having a successful business."

Using Mohan as an example, Berkle explained the effects ‘Three Step Empowerment’ program should have on the entrepreneur.

"[By the of one year] Mr. Mohan has empowered himself. He has obtained capital. He has been paying back the loans and he has repaired his credit," said Berkle. "The most important thing is he has gained is one year of entrepreneurial experience that he can take and expand his business.

"A year from now he will go to Chase Bank, he will go to North Fork Bank, he will ask for $50,000 and he will get it based on the guidance and counseling of RDRC.

Besides Mohan, West said that the program is working with several other Rockaway entrepreneurs. Among them, is one man who wants to start a restaurant and other person who is interested in opening an exercise facility.

Mohan hopes that, in the future, he can give others the same opportunities that RDRC and the Trickle Up Program have given him.

"They’ve helped me to learn how to be a little more focused as far as business is concerned," said Mohan. "That’s why everything is seems to be falling into order now, but it is still a long way to go."

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