SUFFOLK COUNTY

Pandemic-recovery for small-business owners

Free workshops aim to rebuild, strengthen local businesses

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Suffolk County officials and organizations have launched a series of free workshops to help local business owners navigate the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The Pandemic Shift workshops, offered through Stony Brook University’s College of Business and Brooklyn-based online education company The Shift Group, will offer guidance to small-business owners facing coronavirus-related disruptions, Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone said during a Nov. 20 press conference.

Piloted in June, the workshops are currently underway, and the next four-week, 90-minute virtual workshop is set for Dec. 14.

“The pilot program was there to help businesses understand how to get through an unprecedented crisis like this, adapt, and survive this crisis, with the ultimate goal of getting back to thriving once again as a business,” Bellone said.

Stony Brook University’s College of Business dean Manuel London said the workshops, funded by Bank of America, will welcome between 200 to 300 local businesses.

“We’re looking forward to moving Suffolk forward,” London added, referencing the university’s joint initiative with the county and Suffolk Forward.

Launched in May, Suffolk Forward consists of different programs designed to support small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Other resources allow business owners to learn new ways to increase their revenue, be connected to a talented workforce, enhance their technology tools, refine their business model and get individualized expert business advice.

In a press release, Bank of America New York market executive Connie Verducci said the business is committed to supporting the economic recovery of Long Island small businesses.

“This is a great opportunity to rebuild and strengthen local businesses and help Long Island emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever,” Verducci stated.

The program is looking to have specific workshops geared toward minority businesses expressly aimed at both Hispanic and African-American businesses.

The Suffolk County Women’s Business Enterprise Coalition will co-promote a workshop in January, and six additional workshops will follow.

Business owners can apply for the workshop at www.shiftgroup.com/pandemic-shift.

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