2012-08-31 / Top Stories

Mayor Sets Digital Tool Kit For Small Business

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot, Media and Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver and Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh have launched a new set of free tools to help small businesses in New York City use digital technologies and social media to grow their businesses and create jobs.

The new set of resources, offered online and at NYC Business Solutions Centers throughout the five boroughs, is called the ‘Small Business Digital Toolkit.’

Through a partnership with NYC Digital, the Department of Small Business Services will offer small businesses free training and resources to digitally attract customers, conduct business online and market their products or services through the use of ecommerce technology. Small businesses will have the opportunity to learn how to leverage social media more effectively with help from Mashable; launch a website through how-to guides featuring contributions from Tumblr and Weebly; and incorporate search engine optimization and advertising techniques with help from Google. The launch of the Digital Toolkit comes as the update to the Digital Roadmap: Progress and Innovation is released. The Roadmap is a comprehensive plan outlining NYC’s digital successes and a look ahead to new initiatives to spur the development of the local tech and digital sector. The Mayor was also joined by Mashable Senior Vice President Stacy Green, Mark Coatney of Tumblr, William Floyd of Google, Weebly Vice President of Business Development Nick Dellis, and Eileen Auld, Regional Director of Citi Community Development, State Senator Malcolm Smith and Council Member Leroy Comrie at the NYC Business Solutions Center in Jamaica, Queens.

“When I started my company, our biggest challenge was finding new customers – that’s always crucial for small businesses,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The digital toolkit will help New York City’s entrepreneurs with the resources they need to engage more consumers online. The web can open up worlds of opportunities for these businesses, but many of them presently lack even their own website, let alone a social media campaign.”

“Under Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership, New York has become a leading technology center, and with this new program we will ensure that more small businesses can harness the power of digital technology and social media to grow their businesses,” Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel said. “New York City’s small businesses are increasingly competing not only against companies from around the five boroughs and the region, but also from around the world, and technology is a critical competitive advantage in the global marketplace.”

“New York City’s small businesses are some of the most digitally savvy in the world, but there is always more that we can do to equip them for success,” said Rachel Haot, New York City’s Chief Digital Officer. “We are thrilled to join SBS in introducing the new Digital Toolkit, and thank our partners at Google, Mashable, Tumblr and Weebly for their guidance and contributions. The digital curriculum builds on the Administration’s landmark milestones over the past year in realizing our goal of making New York City the premier digital city in the world. I am thrilled to join Mayor Bloomberg in releasing the update to New York’s digital roadmap, which illustrates powerful progress and a commitment to continuing innovation.”

“At the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, we continue to leverage City resources to help New Yorkers in new and engaging ways,” said Commissioner Oliver. “The Digital Bootcamp exemplifies how partnerships between City agencies can bring about useful change for residents and businesses alike.”

“NYC Business Solutions has made great strides in helping entrepreneurs and small business owners through business courses, access to capital and more,” said Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “As the digital landscape continues to play a critical role in business, we are now expanding our services to help small businesses use technology to compete and grow.”

“The power of technology to help businesses and individuals thrive in the digital age is unquestioned,” said Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Rahul N. Merchant. “And with public-private partnerships like Digital Bootcamp, and many others outlined in the City’s updated Digital Roadmap, we’re better connecting New Yorkers to the infrastructure, services, and data required to make their mark on today’s technology landscape.”

“Over the last decade we have witnessed the incredible growth taking place within the City’s digital sector, as well as the important role this sector is playing in the 21st century economy,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “By providing critical resources and training to prepare New York City’s small businesses for this changing digital landscape, the Bloomberg Administration is once again demonstrating its commitment to growing the City’s economy and ensuring that we remain globally competitive in the future.”

“We need to ensure our city’s small businesses are equipped and able to remain competitive in a digital media world,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “With assistance from companies like Mashable, Google, Tumblr and Weebly, we will help local small businesses grow and bridge the digital divide. The services provided though the Small Business Digital Toolkit will allow New York City businesses to both advertise to a wider audience and give them the potential to compete globally by providing them with access to the online marketplace. I thank Mayor Bloomberg, Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot, Media and Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver, Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh, and Deputy Mayor Robert Steel for addressing the needs of these businesses and working with the City Council to take even more concrete steps toward our goal of making New York City the tech capital of the world.”

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