In between counseling aspiring entrepreneurs, assisting established businesses grow, working with resource partners and hosting training events, the Staten Island Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has had an eventful 2017 so far! The Center has been selected and awarded the 2017 SBA Small Business Development Center for Excellence and Innovation for both the New York District and for Region II. After being honored by the SBA and Congressman Daniel Donovan, the staff also attended their annual staff training conference in Syracuse, New York, to continue building and enhancing their knowledge and expertise. At this year’s conference, two Staten Island staff members were highlighted and awarded for their hard work and extensive efforts of continuously improving the Center to benefit the small business community.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Celebrates 2017 Award Winners during National Small Business Week Ceremony
The Staten Island Small Business Development Center has been selected as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2017 Small Business Development Center for Excellence and Innovation Award Winner for both the New York District as well as SBA’s Region II, which includes all districts in New York State, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
This award honors an SBDC service center for excellence in providing value to small businesses and advancing program delivery and management through innovation. New York SBDC State Director James King congratulated the Staten Island SBDC staff by commenting, “Since there are only 10 nationwide regional winners, this signifies that your team is one of the 10 best among 1,000 centers throughout the country”.
SBA Regional Administrator (Region II) Alfred Titone congratulated the Staten Island SBDC by stating, “I commend you and your staff for the outstanding support and services that your center provides entrepreneurs throughout the region. This is a remarkable accomplishment and I would like to acknowledge the great contributions you are making on behalf of small businesses and entrepreneurs in your community, as well as to the economic development of New York.”
“We are honored to receive this recognition on not only a state level but a regional level as well,” stated Director Dean L. Balsamini. “The staff consists of a talented group of professionals who deliver extensive services to our clients and have a strong passion for serving the community.”
The Staten Island SBDC is one of 24 centers in the New York State Network of America’s SBDCs. Team members include Director Dean L. Balsamini; Office Manager Megan Ernst; Certified Senior Business Advisors, Edward Piszko and George Telmany; Business Advisors, Christine Purelis, Joseph Bottega, and Joseph Muller; and Student Intern, Cecilia Alva.
Nearing their 25th anniversary, the Staten Island SBDC has assisted more than 8,100 businesses, helping them invest more than $174 M in the area’s economy, and creating or saving more than 5,400 jobs.
With the state-wide adaptation of an “it’s all about the client” mantra, the Staten Island SBDC assesses and determines the needs of the community by keeping open relationships with resource partners and clients. The center has an excellent campus partner at the College of Staten Island that supports the SBDC mission to provide education, entrepreneurship, and economic development. The Staten Island SBDC contributes towards enhancing the College footprint. The team is highly involved with the newly launched CSI Technology Incubator, which fosters the innovative drive for high tech entrepreneurs in NYC.
“The SBDC delivers extensive value added services to the small business community and enhances the College of Staten Island‘s objective to be an integral part of the community, not apart from the community,” said CSI President William J. Fritz. “I commend them for this effort.”
“Dean and his team, with the support of the New York SBDC, have a demonstrated history of unparalleled excellence and innovation in their services to the Borough,” said Ken Iwama, Vice President for Economic Development, Continuing Studies and Government Relations.
“The Staten Island SBDC consistently drives forward and enhances the knowledge base to the small business community, especially through marketing and social media activities”, stated Director Balsamini. The advisors provide opportunities to established businesses and start-ups who need support such as marketing, financial projections, staffing, and sustainability. Different types of services include MWBE certifications and BidLinx, which certifies eligible businesses to apply for federal, state, and city contracts.
The SBA held a ceremony during National Small Business Week at their New York Headquarters to honor all local, district, and regional award winners. At a separate event, U.S. Congressman Daniel Donovan honored Dean Balsamini and staff at a local event.
Leading by Example at the New York State SBDC Annual Staff Training Conference
At the 2017 NY SBDC Annual Staff Training Conference in Syracuse, NY, a handful of staff members throughout the 24 centers were acknowledged for their hard work and efforts throughout the past year.
This year, Office Manager Megan Ernst and Business Advisor Christine Purelis were recognized as the Staten Island SBDC’s “Dynamic Duo” when they were selected as the 2017 NY SBDC Lead by Example Award Recipients. This award acknowledged them “for making a difference through outstanding work in marketing via social media by exercising a fresh creative eye and dynamic team effort and ensuring the Center’s social media following has grown; for supporting client education by coordinating training events and proactively networking with key community stakeholders.”
Megan and Christine proudly accepted these awards as they were nominated by SI SBDC Director Dean L. Balsamini.