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Queens Chronicle

Business workshop to offer direction for Queens entrepreneurs

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Posted: Thursday, October 29, 2009 12:00 am

On Wednesday, November 11, LaGuardia Community College’s Small Business Development Center will host an exposition where entrepreneurs can learn about alternative sources of financing.

Brian Gurski, director of the center, said the exposition is being held in response to the reality that many small businesses continue to struggle with limited access to capital since last fall’s credit freeze.

“Mainstream banks are lending,” Gurski said. “However, requirements remain strict, and this leaves many businesses unable to get the financing they need to sustain and grow.”

The ones who would benefit the most from attending the expo, said Gurski, are start-ups and existing companies that need financing now or anticipate needing finance in the near future.

The exposition will address issues such as establishing a business plan, building a credit score and organizing assets that can be used as collateral. There will be a networking session with representatives from business and financial organizations, as well as workshops on preparing strong loan applications and strategies for navigating the current economy.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet with lenders and explore different options, terms and requirements.

Lenders confirmed for the event include SeedCo., Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, Infusion Funding, Business Center for New Americans, Grameen America and Accion New York.

“There’s a value to getting everyone together under one roof,” Gurski said.

The exposition’s featured speaker is Vera Moore, a native of Corona and president and CEO of Vera Moore Cosmetics, a company that manufactures cosmetics and skin care items for women and men of color.

As a former actress who worked in soap operas in the 1970s, Moore remembers a time when there were no quality cosmetics available for women of color. Today, her products can be found on the shelves of Duane Reade’s new, upscale ‘Look Boutique’ section and online at her company website, veramoorecosmetics.com. Her products are also scheduled to start selling in Rockefeller Center in December.

Speaking from her own early business experiences, Moore said that an entrepreneur must have a business plan and engage in “laser-focused” networking.

“Relationships are key to building a business,” Moore said.

The exposition is free and open to the public, although attendees are advised to call ahead of time. It will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. at LaGuardia’s Little Theatre at 31-10 Thomson Avenue in Long Island City.

Attendees are advised to bring business cards and promotional materials. For more information call (718) 482-5303.

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