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Conversational Session Offered by Staten Island SBDC on Reimagining Main Street


Dean Balsamini, Regional Director of the Staten Island Small Business Development Center (SISBDC) with Keynote Speakers, Sonya Smith, State Director of the NY SBDC and Robert (Rob) Wallace, Interim VP for the Division of Economic Development at CSI discussed how small businesses can navigate the ever changing landscape in today's Small Business Community at the SIEDC Business Conference on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at the Hilton Garden Inn on Staten Island.

Sonya Smith talked about the role of the New York Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) in respect to Reimagining Main Street. It is important for all the local centers to understand their community and the needs of the small businesses in their districts, and to know what regulations and processes need to be improved to help the entrepreneurs and small businesses through all life stages of their business? Sonya mentioned how it is essential for businesses to not only create business plans but to consider succession planning as well. Sonya stated, "Over 10 million businesses started during the two year period during the Pandemic and the local SBDCs were instrumental in helping these businesses during their start-ups, and helped many existing businesses find funding to remain open."

Rob Wallace went on to speak about how CSI is committed to sustainability and being a Green College. He also discussed how important it is to have an educated workforce and that the Office of Workforce Development develops workforce training programs designed to address critical skill gaps in high growth industries. Rob stated "we offer certificate programs and professional development courses in the healthcare, technology, and business sectors." A Cyber Security Certificate program will be launched soon as well at CSI. The College is partnering with Amazon, and one of the benefits of the company is that it offers tuition refunds for their employees.

The session wrapped up with questions from the attendees and Joe Bottega, Certified Senior Business Advisor, SI SBDC. The staff of SBDC welcomed those who stopped by our table requesting more information about our services.


Photos from the conference: Top Row: Governor Kathy Hochul, Keynote Speaker at the breakfast; SI SBDC Regional Director, Dean Balsamini; Certified Business Advisor Joe Muller and Certified Senior Business Advisor Joe Bottega and attendees; Dean Balsamini at Podium, NY SBDC State Director Sonya Smith and Robert Wallace, Interim VP for CSI Division of Economic Development; Middle Row: Jaclyn Tacoronte, Founder JMT Media; SIEDC CEO and President Michael Cusick; College of Staten Island Alumni Association Community Board 1 District Manager Joan Cusick; SBDC, NY State Director Sonya Smith; Robert Wallace, Interim VP CSI Division of Economic Development; JCC of Staten Island Orit Lender Allison Cohen; Madison Gattullo JMT Media; Members of the SI SBDC Team, Debra Denmark, Business Advisor; Bonnie Arciero, Marketing Business Advisor; Angela Chuppe, Office Manager and NY State SBDC State Director Sonya Smith; Bottom Row: Angela Chuppe and Sonya Smith and other members of the SI SBDC Team including Joe Muller, Certified Business Advisor, Regional Director Dean Balsamini; Joe Bottega, Certified Senior Business Advisor and Edward Piszko, Certified Senior Business Advisor.














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