NYPL's small business website, smallbiz.nypl.org, can link you to hundreds of free and low-cost assistance programs through its Services Directory. New York City is one of the best places to start a business, and a wealth of small business services is available to entrepreneurs through local & state government, non-profit organizations, economic development corporations and neighborhood community groups. There are hundreds of programs, funded separately, not connected to each other, so it's hard to know how exactly what type of assistance is available.
NYPL's business library has linked these programs in one small biz Services Directory to make it easier for business owners to find help. We've included important agencies such as Business Solutions, of NYC.gov Small Business Services department, which provides a range of business services in five boroughs, including free business training, business counseling, loan bundling, and assistance with permits and licenses, to name just a few of the many services offered.
New York State also assists entrepreneurs at a local level through a network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). SBDCs are located in NYC and other locations, are funded through the SBA (sba.gov) and through SUNY and host institutions. SBDCs are all located at universities, staffed by professional business advisors, and they provide free services to start ups and existing businesses. Score (www.scorenyc.org), an organization of business experts, provides free mentoring and advice to business owners and start ups onsite at the SIBL business library and at their offices nationwide.
In addition to programs offered through city and state funded agencies, the Smallbiz Services Directory lists services funded through non-profits, business groups, and neighborhood associations. A few example of programs included are the Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO wibo.org), South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SOBRO.org), Business Outreach Center Network (bocnet.org), Accion (accionusa.org) and The Queens Economic Development Corporation (queensny.org/qedc). Search the Directory or browse the program listings and you'll be sure to find services that can help you grow your business.