718-982-2560 SBDC@csi.cuny.edu

The Staten Island SBDC Newsletter

Through a network of 24 regional centers, the New York Small Business Development Center delivers high quality business counseling and training to New Yorkers who want to start a business or improve the performance of an existing business.
Since our start in 1993 , the experienced advisors of the Staten Island  SBDC located at the College of Staten Island, have worked directly with 7,500 businesses, assisting them to invest over $162,000,000 in the area’s economy, and creating or saving 5,000 jobs.

Director’s Message
Despite fluctuating weather conditions these past few winter months and the beginning of 2016, the SI SBDC at CSI has had a very productive winter.
Kudos to our clients and attendees who came out in January to participate in our well-attended Tax Seminar in Staten Island to gain knowledge in Federal and N.Y. State Tax Law updates presented by CPA experts Warren M. Bergstein and Jack E. Gold. Congrats to our SBDC team and partners who have also conducted several additional seminars this winter including presentations at our local 5 club Rotary business meetings, as well as participation in the Great Kills Library and Brooklyn locations.
During this period, the SBDC had the opportunity to acknowledge and recognize the hard work and achievements of our clients, starting with the closing of the Superstorm Sandy Fishery Disaster Relief Program. Our business counselors have been working in assisting numerous clients with the rigorous grant application process. This program was designed to direct relief to NYS recreational and commercial fishery businesses for recovery of income losses as a result of the Superstorm Sandy. Additional assistance is available as the SBA announced it has reopened the filing period for survivors in all states affected by Superstorm Sandy. As a result, our SBDC business counselors continue to assist eligible candidates in applying for this low-interest disaster loan. The application deadline for physical damage & economic injury losses is December 1, 2016.
I’d also like to wish the best of luck to our clients for their success in their recent grand openings, as shown in the photos below. Lastly, in an effort to continue with the recognition of our client’s achievements, the SI SBDC has started a new initiative titled, “Business of the Month.” Thus we are pleased to announce: HearSay, LLC, The Stone House at Clove Lakes, and MIO Fitness as our February, January, and December Business of the Month recipients.
Congratulations and well done to all!
Dean L. Balsamini
Dean L. Balsamini
Director of SI SBDC

SBA Sandy Disaster Loan Application Reopened
Contact us at your earliest convenience to start the process!
For more information on eligibility and/or assistance in the application process, please contact our office to speak with an advisor.
The SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center has moved from the College of Staten Island. For assistance, please visit their new location at the Staten Island Alliance – 274 Colony Avenue SI, NY 10306

Trending Topic: Disaster Resiliency
This map was taken from nyc.gov showing the city’s hurricane evaluation map.
Robert A. Listerman, CPA and president of Business Technology Resources, LLC wrote an article titled, “Disaster Recovery: The Key is Having a Plan.” This article focuses on the trending topic of disaster recovery and resiliency for businesses. It highlights key factors such as developing a disaster recovery plan that can help further prevent and protect businesses and business owners from when natural disasters occur. After  the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, it is clear to see that Staten Island remains resilient! If you are still struggling with your business, please contact us for assistance.

For  full coverage of this article,

What’s in a name?
Is your business name protected? If you have spent a considerable amount of time (and money) developing and protecting your products’ name, how safe are you from having someone else use it?
Quite often, we check with the NY Secretary of State to ensure that a name is safe for incorporation.  However as further borne out in a recent Staten Island Advance article, it is important to determine that the name or product name you plan to use has not been trademarked. The only way to do that is to check with the U.S. Copyright Office. A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device that is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others.
For additional assistance, please contact our office.

Staten Island SBDC’s recognition for ourstanding performance  
Business of the Month is a  new initiative from the Staten Island SBDC to showcase the success and achievements that result from the hard work and efforts formed from business relationships with our expert advisors.
February 2016: HearSay, LLC

Maryellen Smolka and Nicole Dory, co-owners of HearSay, LLC, have been clients of SI SBDC Senior Certified Business Advisor Ed Piszko for the past several years. HearSay has been providing equal communication access services for the deaf, hard of hearing, and learning disability communities since 2008. HearSay’s main office is located at 1041 Victory Blvd, Staten Island NY 10301.
HearSay is a technologically advanced and dynamic company dedicated to providing communication access and auditory information through a continuum of services. This Speech-to-Text service provider creates integral situations tailored to each unique set of needs both onsite and remotely. HearSay LLC offers an array of services and state of the art equipment including their popular Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) platform. This is so their clients may have the ability to communicate their needs and to receive information easily and effectively in all aspects of their lives.
The SI SBDC has helped Maryellen and Nicole develop a marketing platform for their business. The co-owners and staff at HearSay are not only professional but are vibrant, devoted, and enthusiastic individuals passionate about their service to the community.

They are providing a much needed service to hearing impaired students and those in need of equal access to information.” 
SI SBDC Senior Certified Business Advisor Ed Piszko
Previous Business of the Month Recipients
January 2016: The Stone House
 December 2015: MIO Fitness

Seminar Highlights
Check the sidebar for our upcoming events!
2016 Tax Law Update Seminar
On January 13, 2016, SI SBDC Director Dean Balsamini and staff presented the 2016 Staten Island Tax Law Update Seminar at the College of Staten Island. This event highlighted the new Federal & State Tax Updates for small businesses, which was presented by certified public accountants Jack E. Gold and Warren M. Bergstein, partners of Adelman, Katz and Mond LLP. This seminar was also in partnership with the IRS.
Business Smart Toolkit Workshop
On February 2, 2016, the SI SBDC presented the Business Smart Toolkit Workshop in partnership with the SBA and New York Public Library. This workshop helped attendees gain a basic understanding of the key steps to getting your business off the ground; learn what banks look for when lending money; learn about various financing options; and acknowledge the local resources available to assist in starting and growing a business.
Catch this workshop again on March 8th in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn!
Check the sidebar for more information and to RSVP for your seat.
Thank you to all of our attendees who made this another great event!

Congratulations: SI Chamber’s 2016 Louis R. Miller Business Leadership Awards
The SI SBDC is proud to congratulate our clients and all of this year’s honorees for being recipients of the prestigious Louis Miller Award! This is a special event highlighting the accomplishments of outstanding small business owners and not-for-profit organization executives on Staten Island.
Diana Petrone Vasquenz, Not Just Bagels
Maryann Piazza,  Majestic Vending and Services Inc.
Charles DiBartolo, BetterBizWorks

SBDC Clients in the News
   Take a look at some of our Clients’ Successful Moments!
You could be next!  
Business Advisor Joseph Bottega with his client Robert Orazem of the Ocean Breeze Indoor Athletic Facility
Director Dean Balsamini and Business Advisor Joe Muller with his client Expedia Cruiseship Centers at their Grand Opening with  the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce