The Council partners with banks, alternative lenders, the Department of Small Business Services and other elected officials to increase lending to the small business community

New York, January 26, 2010 – City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn today launched Credit Ready NYC – a Citywide initiative to increase lending throughout the five boroughs by providing resources to small businesses struggling through the credit crunch. She was joined by Finance Chair Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., Small Business Chair Diana Reyna, Council Member Leroy Comrie, Council Member Daniel Dromm, Borough President Helen Marshall and Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services David Margalit.

Although the City is slowly pulling itself out of the recession, small businesses are still buried under the financial and credit crisis. A recent Federal Reserve Bank of New York survey found that there’s a strong demand for loans from small businesses in the City but of the 59 percent of small businesses that applied only half were successful in obtaining at least some of the requested credit.

Credit Ready NYC assists small businesses by working with banks to steer entrepreneurs toward alternative lenders, when appropriate. The program also teaches small business owners how to best apply for a loan. Banking and small business organizations will be available for lending guidance and one-on-one consulting. The Small Business Resource Guide will also be available at New York State Small Business Development Centers, New York City’s Business Solution Centers, Council Members’ district offices, through 311 and on the Council website.

This credit fair is the first in a series that will continue in all five boroughs.

The Council partners included: Accion USA, Chase Bank, Citibank, New York State Small Business Development Center, NYC Business Solutions, Project Enterprise, Queens Business Outreach Center, Seedco Financial Services, Inc., Sovereign Bank, State Bank of Long Island, Sterling National Bank, TD Bank, N.A., Dime Savings of Williamsburgh, United States Small Business Administration, and the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.

The Department of Small Business Services had NYC Business Solutions account managers available to provide technical assistance on-site. Many times, small business owners are not well prepared to borrow and this fair will be a forum for alternative lenders to provide technical assistance and counseling so small businesses owners know how to properly apply for a loan.

This is in addition to the Summit last year where the Speaker announced the “Credit for Success – Second Look” program. The New York Business Development Corporation, working with more than a dozen banks, has created a $2 million loan program to provide small businesses that have been rejected for credit a second chance at loans. This “Second Look” will be combined with business counseling to identify creditworthy small businesses that are otherwise shut out of access to credit markets. Loan amounts range from $25,000 to a maximum of $150,000. Applicants must meet the U.S. Small Business Administration eligibility requirements and agree to seek business counseling from the regional Small Business Development Center. The program has already been successfully implemented in other parts of the State.

“I’m thrilled to launch this Credit Fair series in the five boroughs today,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “Credit Ready NYC is aimed at lending a hand to those small businesses that need that little bit of help. We’ll reach out to small businesses and work collaboratively with them and the banking community to increase education and resources to tackle the obstacles that came with the credit crunch. This way we might be able to save some of the 50,000 small businesses that close every year. I want to thank Michael Smith, president and CEO of the New York Bankers Association, Patrick MacKrell, president and CEO of New York Business Development Corporation, the Queens Chamber, Queens Borough President Helen Marshal, and all of my City Council colleagues for making this happen today.”

“As a small business owner, I know how difficult it can be to find resources in this economy,” said Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., chair of the Finance Committee. “Credit Ready NYC gives small businesses the tools they need to find credit so they can make necessary investments and, most importantly, expand. I want to thank Speaker Quinn for her leadership and all the participating banking organizations for kicking off this fair with the Council.”
“Small businesses are the engine of our city’s economic diversity and growth,” said Council Member Diana Reyna, Chair of the Small Business Committee. “We need to make certain that businesses receive the capital, financial expertise, education and support they need to remain vibrant and successful – it is imperative that we commit to increase lending for small businesses throughout the five boroughs.”
“Small businesses have always been the backbone of the economy of New York City,” said Council Member Karen Koslowitz, Chair of the Economic Development Committee. “Economic development starts with small businesses, as they are often the center of commerce for the many diverse neighborhoods that make up this great city. During these tough economic times we need to help businesses find responsible ways to access credit that will allow them to thrive in the future. Credit Ready NYC is a great vehicle to accomplish this goal and I applaud Speaker Quinn for her leadership in this important area.”

“I want to applaud Speaker Quinn’s leadership on this issue,” said Queens delegation chairman and Council Member Leroy Comrie. “I’ve reached out to hundreds of small business owners in the Southeast Queens community and I’m sure they will benefit from this fair. As a member of the City’s Regulatory Review Panel, which is charged with finding new and innovative solutions to help small businesses through this difficult economic climate, I firmly believe that the Credit Fair is a step in the right direction for our borough’s business community.”

“Initiatives like Credit Ready NYC are exactly what we need to stimulate our sluggish economy,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Queens). Small businesses have always been the backbone of our economy and the bedrock of our communities. Simply put, we need to ensure owners are able to acquire loans if we are to spur job growth in our City. I commend Speaker Quinn for bringing this initiative to Queens and for providing the resources all New Yorkers need to get back on their feet.”

“I applaud the Speaker and the City Council’s efforts to help small businesses take advantage of services that help them access credit,” said Small Business Services Commissioner Rob Walsh. “Last year our NYC Business Solutions Centers helped over 600 entrepreneurs to secure financing with a variety of lenders. Credit Ready NYC will help ensure that more businesses across the City get the information and assistance they need to access credit.”
“We are thankful to Speaker Quinn, a great friend of small business, for all her efforts, including today’s event, to support the individuals and family-owned businesses that help to form the backbone of our local economy,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. “During these challenging economic times, events like today’s provide valuable information that could mean survival for a small business.
“We are very excited to host the Queens Credit fair. Not only will members of the small business community get to hear from New York City’s top leaders including Speaker Quinn, Commissioner Walsh and Borough President Marshall, but they will also get to speak with lenders of all types regarding ways that they can access credit and qualify for much needed loans,” said Jack Friedman, Executive Director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce.