BY GREGG BISHOP
COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES
The holiday shopping season is upon us, and small business owners know all too well how “Black Friday” got its name. Often operating with slim profit margins, it is the end-of-year holiday shopping rush that finally pushes many businesses into the black.
It is common that 20 to 30 percent of annual sales occur during the last month of the year alone. The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) is offering a few simple tips along with our services to help your business make the most of this holiday season:
• Spread the Holiday Cheer Online: Connect with your customers online by offering exciting seasonal promotions on your website or by launching a holiday-inspired social media campaign.
• Know the Rules: Help your business avoid costly fines by staying in the know. The holiday season can present unique regulatory challenges for New York City small business owners. SBS offers free compliance consultations that can help.
• Hire Extra Help: Create new positions and hire additional staff to help your business perform well during the holiday rush.
• Get Your Books in Order: Stay on top of your holiday sales by keeping your business finances well organized this season.
• Connect With Your Neighborhood: Participate in the holiday-inspired programming happening on your block and in your neighborhood. From tree lighting events to local gift guides, get involved and help organize local campaigns to increase foot traffic in your area.
SBS is here to help your business succeed this holiday season and year-round. We operate a network of seven Business Solutions Centers located in all five boroughs that offer free, hands-on support to help small businesses hone the skills needed to start, manage, or grow in a changing economy.
The services provided include free business courses in multiple languages, access to financing assistance and incentives, recruitment services, and pro-bono legal advice. We will also help you cut through red tape by offering free, on-site compliance consultations that help small businesses comply with regulations and avoid costly fines.
While you’re preparing your business for this busy season, we’re continuing to promote the diverse, independent, small businesses that enrich neighborhoods across New York City. Through “NYC Love Your Local,” SBS encourages New Yorkers to add their favorite small businesses to an interactive map for other New Yorkers to discover.
Check out the businesses on this map and be sure to share your favorites at nyc.gov/loveyourlocal. You can also promote your favorite neighborhood businesses and discover those shared by others by using #LoveYourLocalNYC on social media.
This holiday season let SBS help you prepare to manage the holiday influx. For more information on our services, go to nyc.gov/sbs or call 311.