Supporting Hispanic Small Businesses
FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009

Stephen Falla-Riff of the Community Development Project of The Legal Aid Society's Civil Practice participated in a press conference last week in which Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Guillermo Linares and Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh announced five initiatives to support Hispanic small businesses and help them weather increasing challenges brought on by the economic downturn.

The City has worked with a coalition of Hispanic businesses, community-based organizations, and other to develop initiatives that strengthen the capacity of Hispanic businesses and provide greater access to the City’s financing and business assistance services. Helping small business grow is an integral part of the Mayor’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan to create jobs for New Yorkers today, implement a vision for long-term economic growth, and build affordable, attractive neighborhoods. The five initiatives include the NYC Business Solutions Financing Fair, a new NYC Business Solutions satellite office in Washington Heights, greater access to pro bono legal assistance through the NYC Business Solutions Centers, the development of a seminar to train Hispanic business associations on services available to businesses, and the launch of an online directory on the National Hispanic Business Information Clearinghouse website.

“The Legal Aid Society Community Development Project is excited to partner with the Department of Small Business Services and Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to provide free legal services and educational workshops to low-income small businesses throughout New York City,” said Stephen Falla Riff of the Legal Aid Society. “We look forward to working together to assist immigrant and other low-income communities throughout the city.”

“Strengthening and providing the tools businesses need in order to thrive are crucial to our Five-Borough Economic Opportunity Plan for spurring New York’s recovery from the national economic recession,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “New York has led the nation in the rate of growth for Hispanic-owned businesses, and it’s important to our economy to help even more of these businesses succeed.”

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