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Queens Chronicle

QEDC offers business, personal finance courses and grants

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Posted: Monday, September 9, 2019 2:47 pm

Looking to help entrepreneurs, established business owners, home improvement contractors, minorities, immigrants, women and others, the Queens Economic Development Corp. announced its fall 2019 lineup of programs and services on Sept. 9.

First up is the 13th annual Queens StartUP! Business Plan Competition, sponsored by Resorts World Casino New York City and the Queens Chamber of Commerce and organized in cooperation with Queens Library. It will award $10,000 each to four winning businesses, while providing technical assistance, resources, and training to all.

Contestants attend free seminars on four topics — Your Business Idea; Testing Your Business Model; Marketing; and Entrepreneurial Financing. These two-hour sessions take place at Flushing Library, 41-17 Main St., on various dates between Oct. 13, 2019, and Feb. 25, 2020. After attending a fourth session, applicants will write and submit business plans to a panel of judges, who select the winners.

Interested parties can attend free, one-hour orientation sessions as per the following: Flushing Library, Sept. 12, 6:30 pm; Queens Central Library, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., Sept. 16, 6 pm; Peninsula Community Library, 92-25 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Sept. 19, 6 pm; Broadway Library, 40-20 Broadway, Sept. 24, 4:30 pm; and Cambria Heights Library, 218-13 Linden Blvd., Sept. 30, 6:30 pm.

Ready? Set. Go! is a free, 90-minute program once called “New Idea to New Venture.” Taught by a small business expert, a lawyer, and a financier, it provides an overview on starting a business, including legal issues and funding. The first workshop is at Queens Borough Hall’s Room G110, 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens, on Sept. 18 at 6:30 pm. The others are at the Entrepreneur Space, 36-46 37th St. in Long Island City, on Oct. 16 and at a to-be-announced venue in Jamaica on Nov. 6.

The Entrepreneurship Assistance Center is for aspiring and existing small business owners. It’s offering its annual 20-class course on how to create a business and earn revenue. Participants learn about target markets, get validation for their business ideas, and use data to create business plans. EAC also offers a network of professionals willing to offer technical assistance to solve individual financial, technology, and legal problems. Plus, participants can enter the StartUP! Competition and win $10,000. 

The 20-class course meets at the Entrepreneur Space twice weekly from October to December. For more info, contact Bhavna Punjwani at bpunjwani@queensny.org.

The QEDC continues to present the highly effective Home Improvement Contractor Training course in English, Mandarin, and Spanish. HICT prepares contractors to pass the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs licensing exam. It consists of three six-hour classes led by an experienced teacher. The lessons are accompanied by one-on-one business advisory services, such as consultations on permits and licensing, business development, liability, procurement, and access to capital.

HICT is offered on demand. The next English-language class is scheduled for Sept. 21, 22, and 28 at the Entrepreneur Space from 10 am to 4 pm each day. Schedules for HICT in Mandarin and Spanish are to be announced. To sign up for HICT, fill out an interest form or contact Sarah Liu at sliu@queensny.org.

Ready for Business is an advanced ESL program that helps students improve their English skills and instructs on how to start a small business. To take place at the Emerald Isle Immigration Center at 59-26 Woodside Ave. in Woodside, the 10-class course commences on Oct. 2 in the evening. Admission is free, but participants must send an email to coordinator@eiic.org to schedule an interview for admittance.

Personal Financial Literacy is an eight-week course on budgeting, investing, and saving for home ownership, college, and retirement. Taught by a financial planner, the first class is on Oct. 3 at 6 pm. It’s free for those with household incomes of under $100,000. Clients must contact Michael Gillen at 718.263.0546 to schedule an interview for admittance.

QEDC continues helping with M/WBE certification. Women and minorities who have been in business for at least a year can obtain a special designation that would give them priority for government contracts. For more info, contact Ricardi Calixte at rc@queensny.org.

Along the same lines, the Queens Women’s Business Center continues to help woman start and grow their companies. The director, Andrea Ormeño, provides one-on-one counseling by appointment, but she also presents workshops and networking opportunities, including the periodical Power Networking Breakfast, which usually attracts about 50 female entrepreneurs. Contact her at aormeno@queensny.org.

Ormeño is also organizing the Corona Small Business Summit on Sept. 19 from 9:30 am to 4 pm. The event will connect business owners to government and private agencies and offer workshops on such topics as accounting, financing, and M/WBE certification in Corona Plaza. Plus, a group of successful entrepreneurs will participate in a panel discussion. More info is at www.queensny.org/calendar/coronasbs/

Finally, MadeInQueens (aka MiQ) promotes local makers and manufacturers, shares their stories, and provides opportunities for new and existing local businesses to grow and flourish. The contact is program director Michael Gillen at mgillen@queensny.org.

More info on these programs and other services is on the QEDC’s website, queensny.org.

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