Monday, February 26, 2018

Building Wealth & Creating Legacies




The New American Chamber of Commerce
Will Host Its First Annual Business, Real Estate & Wealth Building Expo

BROOKLYN, February 26, 2018 B The Chamber Coalition ─ New American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), the African-American International Chamber of Commerce (AAICC) and the Hispanic-American International Chamber of Commerce (HAICC) ─ in partnership with Equity Smart Realty, Inc., is proud to present its first Annual Business, Real Estate & Wealth Building Expo on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at the Sheraton Brooklyn Hotel, 228 Duffield Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201. This is the ideal expo for the novice, information‑seeker, prospective and current home owners, realtors, investors, entrepreneurs, marketing and salespersons to come together and learn how to create, keep and build wealth.

The Business, Real Estate & Wealth Building Expo promises to be high‑energy and impactful. The day starts with a Welcome VIP Breakfast B Be Equity Smart, and continues with empowering seminars, an exhibiting hall of businesses and a Real Estate Investing Luncheon.


Brian Figeroux, Esq., Founder of NACC, said that the “American Dream is twofold: that of starting a business and owning a business. At the New American Chamber of Commerce we seek to empower our members and the wider community to achieve those goals. That’s why we are having our Annual Business, Real Estate and Wealth Building Expo. The theme of the Expo is ‘building wealth and creating legacies’ and that is, what it is all about. How are we going to pass wealth from one generation to another? How are we going to create a legacy? By owning a home, starting a business and investing in property.

“According to the NYC Comptroller’s Office, ‘working New Yorkers are struggling through an affordability crisis. With rents rising and wages stagnant, the very people who helped build their communities up…well, they’re being priced out.’ Almost every minority community is facing gentrification. How do we fight gentrification? What is the solution? Answer: Home ownership.

“Also, the unemployment rate is highest in the minority community. How do we bring it down? Again what is the solution? Answer: Starting a business. Guess what? In addition to family and friends, one has a tendency to hire those who look and sound like them.

“Save the date: March 24, 2018. It’s a day of opportunity and we invite all to come. Lao Tzu said that ‘The journey of a thousand miles, begins with one step.’ The path to building wealth and creating legacies starts on Saturday, March 24, 2018. It's that first, one step. Don’t miss it.”

Victoria Falk, CEO of Passionate Travel Inc., Vice-President of AAICC and President of BlackCEO NY Chapter, says
"I highly recommend that if you are in business, or seriously thinking about starting a business, that you attend the upcoming Business, Real Estate &Wealth Building Expo. In this age of high technology, connecting with people on a personal level is still very important.  We do business with people we know, like and trust.  There's no better way to establish initial rapport with a potential client or business partner than at the Expo.  So bring your business cards, a positive attitude, and be prepared to network with other professional people who want to meet you.  Attend the seminars and learn from people who have quality information to help you get to your next level. Personally, I have gained new customers and business partners, as well as valuable information that have put me ahead of my competition at previous expos presented by the New American Chamber of Commerce.  So mark your calendar and prepare to attend the Business, Real Estate & Wealth Building Expo on Saturday, March 24, 2018.”

To learn more or register now, visit www.businessexponyc.com


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Rachel Roy's 5 Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Rachel's 5 Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

On January 11th, Rachel Roy sat down with IVY in Los Angeles to discuss her journey toward building a highly successful business, and all of the highs and lows in between. Here are 5 tips that Rachel shared for aspiring entrepreneurs:

1.     Get Started! 
The difference between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs is the start, because a lot of people have great ideas, but not everyone acts on those great ideas. If you find yourself thinking, What do I need to start? When can I break away from my salary job and start working on my own passion? Just know that you have to be brave enough to jump and grow your wings on the way down. You’re never going to have wings before that - it just doesn’t work like that. That’s not how the universe is set up, and it’s not how we’re set up to succeed. There’s so much that is accomplished even in taking that first step to start.

2.     Take Risks
You can do the exact opposite of what the experts recommend, and have it be a great success. In 2008, the economy wasn’t doing very well with retail, and I started a secondary collection. At that point, not a lot of other designers had secondary lines, so I didn’t have very much competition in the market at that price point. When I had to stop my designer line, I still had my secondary line, which has become very successful over the years and if I did not take the risk and launch during a recession I may not have a business now.

3.     Protect Yourself
I worked as a licensing manager for seven years, and I learned that whatever you write in a contract is really all you have to protect you. Even if someone says that they have the same values as you, if you don’t put it into a contract, it’s probably not going to happen. With my first licensing deal, I put into the contract that I wanted to produce product by women in third world countries. It was very important to me to employ women who were seamstresses and who had a really hard time finding work. I wrote that into the contract so I would never have to have that uncomfortable talk with the people who are sustaining my business. I wouldn’t have to beg for it, because we had it in writing.

4.     Take Control of Your Life
Instead of placing blame on your circumstances and on the people around you, you can take control and take ownership of your choices. Every day within every moment, you have a choice. As soon as it can click that we are in charge of our choices, we realize that we are in charge of our happiness. After all, the happiest people are the sexiest people.

5.     Trust Your Gut
My proudest moment came when my first partners no longer wanted to fund my company, but they also didn’t want my company to exist. I could have done what other designers in my situation did – which was absolutely nothing – or I could fight. I went to many successful people in the fashion industry to ask for advice (including Anna Wintour and the president of the CFDA), and the majority told me not go through a lawsuit because I wouldn’t be able to handle it. Ultimately, I didn’t take their advice. They were right – it was horrible, but I went through it and I got my name back. Now for the designers that have creative control, there’s a law that prevents this from happening to any other designer in the future.

When you are ready to realize your American Dream of Entrepreneurship, call the Chamber at 718-722-9217 to schedule an appointment for a FREE Small Business Consultation.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Selling to the Government

Government Contracts Overview for Small Businesses

Welcome to government contracting! U.S. federal government contracts represent a tremendous sales and revenue opportunity for small businesses because:
  • The U.S. Government is the world’s largest customer
  • It buys all types of products and services in both large and small quantities
  • It is required by law to provide opportunities for small businesses

The Government’s Contracting Objectives

As you might expect, the government is very particular about how it purchases products and services. The general aims of the rules and regulations governing federal contracts are to ensure that:
  • Competition is fair and open—The process of requesting proposals, evaluating bids, and making awards should take place on a level playing field with full visibility. Any business that is qualified to bid should be considered.
  • Products and services are competitively priced. The government seeks pricing that is commensurate with its formidable buying power.
  • The government gets what it pays for—The government protects itself by carefully defining requirements, terms and conditions for all purchases. Contractors must document that they have fulfilled all requirements and met all terms in order to be paid.
  • Both the government and contractors comply with the law—Different rules and regulations apply to different types of purchases. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) or Defense Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) apply to most federal agencies. Individual organizations often have their own rules as well.

Types of Government Contractors

There are two broad categories of government contractors:
  • Prime contractors bid on and win contracts directly from government agencies. After award, the prime contractor company is the entity that is legally responsible for all aspects of fulfilling the contract, such as interacting with the government customer, recruiting staff, organizing and managing teams of subcontractors, and meeting all delivery requirements. Both large and small businesses can serve as prime contractors.
  • Subcontractors join prime contractors’ teams, usually to provide a specific capability or product. Subcontracting is an excellent way to enter the government contracting market and to participate in larger-scale opportunities. The advantage of being a “sub,” is that you’ll be responsible only for your area of expertise, not managing the entire contract. You can gain valuable experience (called “past performance”) that will qualify you for future contracts. But note that you’ll be serving two customers:  Your prime contractor will determine what percentage of the work (called “workshare”) and which assignments (called “tasks”) you will receive. You may or may not work directly with the government, at the discretion of your prime.
To serve as either a prime or a sub, you’ll need to qualify as a small business and register as government contractor. Then you can begin to seek both prime contractors and federal agencies as customers

Government Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses

The government is particularly concerned to include small businesses as it buys goods and services for several reasons:
  • To ensure that large businesses don’t “muscle out” small businesses
  • To gain access to the new ideas small businesses are great at providing
  • To support small businesses as engines of economic development and job creation
  • To offer opportunities to disadvantaged socio-ethnic groups
To these ends, most government agencies “set aside” a percentage of their acquisitions (what they buy) for small and disadvantaged businesses. In some cases, these set-asides might consist of certain types of tasks on larger contracts. In other cases, entire contracts may be designated for small businesses.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Get Ready to Become a Paralegal

Get Ready to Become a Paralegal


There are many reasons why a paralegal career is an excellent choice. A paralegal job provides an opportunity to work in the legal field without spending several years in law school. If you thought paralegals only worked in law offices, think again. The skills you learn in paralegal training are transferable to other business environments. With the right skills, you would be able to work in a number of industries, including law firms, financial offices, law libraries, and state, local and federal governments.

Here are 5 great things about being a paralegal:

1. Rise in Pay
Paralegal compensation has risen steadily in the past decade, despite a bump in the road in the depths of the 2009-2010 recession. As paralegals perform a broader and more complex range of tasks (paralegals even represent clients in court in certain countries and administrative tribunals), paralegal earnings continue to rise. The average paralegal salary hovers at around $50,000 per year but paralegals often make more through bonuses. Overtime hours can also add significant cash to a paralegal's paycheck.

2. Explosive Employment Outlook
The paralegal field is one of the fastest-growing professions on the globe. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the employment of paralegals and legal assistants to grow 28 percent between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. Among the factors driving this growth is client demand for more affordable and more efficient delivery of legal services. Since hourly rates charged by attorneys are typically double or triple the rates of paralegals for the same task, law firm economics mandates the increased use of paralegals to minimize costs. As a result, a paralegal career is one of the hottest non-lawyer jobs in the legal industry.


3. Easy Career Entry
Unlike lawyers who must complete seven years of formal education and pass the bar exam to practice law, you can become a paralegal in as little as a few months of study.

4. Intellectual Challenge
Paralegal work is intellectually challenging and involves a range of high-level skills. The most successful paralegals are problem-solvers and innovative thinkers. Paralegals must become subject matter experts in their specialty area and master legal procedure, research, drafting and other skills. They must stay on top of ever-changing laws and new legal trends and developments while interfacing with attorneys, opposing counsel, vendors, staff members, clients and others. The work is varied and each day brings new challenges.

5. Rising Prestige
As paralegals perform more complex and challenging work, paralegal prestige is rising. Paralegals are no longer simply lawyer's assistants; they are assuming management roles in corporations, leadership roles in law firms and entrepreneurial roles in independent paralegal businesses. Over the years, paralegals have transcended the image of glorified legal secretary to become respected members of the legal team.

Ready to Become a Paralegal?
So what do you think? Does a paralegal career sound like it’s for you? If you want to get started on the path to success as a paralegal, the New American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) can help. We go beyond teaching you about becoming a paralegal, we teach you how to be your own boss with our Small Business Boot Camp: Start Your  Own  Virtual Paralegal Business.

Come and learn about our FREE Paralegal Program on Wednesday, July 6, 2017 at 6pm. We are located at 26 Court Street, Suite 701, Downtown Brooklyn.Visit www.freeparalegal.org to register or call  us at 718-722-9217.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Start Your Own Virtual Paralegal Business



Start Your Own Virtual Paralegal Business


Attorneys are searching for ways to reduce overhead costs.  One way an attorney can reduce overhead costs is to use the services of a freelance paralegal.  Therefore, the demand for contract paralegals is increasing.  As the demand for paralegal services increase, the number of freelance paralegal businesses will rise, naturally.

If you have considered opening your own paralegal business, there are certain details you should consider before opening your door and hanging out a shingle.  As with any small business, a freelance paralegal should begin with a strong foundation for a successful business. The New American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration offers a 5-week Small Business Boot Camp: Start Your Own Virtual Paralegal Business. This is a great program that puts you in the right direction. 

Topics include:

·        Formulating the Virtual Paralegal’s Business Plan
·        Developing Your Virtual Paralegal Website & Protect Your Business: Legal Contracts
·        Introduction to Marketing & Social Media for the Virtual Paralegal
·        For the Virtual Paralegal: Small Business Solutions
·        Financing Your Business, Strategic Partnerships & Resources for the Virtual Paralegal


The Program is Free to Paralegal Students from the Chamber’s Paralegal Certificate Program. All others: $149. 

Register here: 
http://mynacc.chambermaster.com/events/details/small-business-boot-camp-start-your-own-virtual-paralegal-business-seminar-series-3159





Friday, April 7, 2017

Taking A Risk




Entrepreneurs know that every small business starts with taking a risk.

We have an idea for a product or service, but even the best ideas require a leap of faith. Whether it is our money or time or the security of working for someone else, we put ourselves on the line when we pursue our goals. When that risk succeeds… simply put, it’s empowering.

Yet research shows women are more risk-averse than men. Are we missing out on empowerment, too?

I was proud to represent the U.S. Small Business Administration at a panel on empowering women hosted by President Trump and Vice President Pence at the White House in honor of Women’s History Month. Four of the women in the Trump Administration shared the stage and our perspectives on empowerment. It was fascinating to hear that each of our paths to success started by taking a risk – usually against the odds and against the advice of others.

“Women second-guess themselves all the time,” U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley noted during the panel. “We must tell ourselves to push through the fear because we end up on the other side so much stronger than when we started.”

Ambassador Haley described how she took a risk by running for a seat in the statehouse in South Carolina. Others told her she was too young, she had small children, she should set her sights lower. She ignored the naysayers and took a risk – and not only won that seat, she went on to become her state’s first female Governor.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos thought she’d play it safe and study interior design in college until she challenged herself to study business and political science instead.

Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, was expected to be a stay-at-home mom, noting she was the first woman in her family in 3,000 years to have a job. But she had her own dreams and a desire to make a contribution in health care, and knew she could be a mom at the same time. She started a career, and later took another risk when she left her job and started her own business.

“We tend to play it safe – don’t take that job or start your own business. What I’ve come to realize is that’s the wrong advice. Even you are even considering it, go for it. Take those risks. The worst that can happen is it doesn’t work out, but you learn from it. It’s better to have that growth and wisdom than not pursuing it at all.”

Probably the biggest risk my husband and I ever took was buying Capitol Wrestling, the parent company of WWF, at the time, in 1982. It was just the two of us sharing a desk, and I’m very happy that risk really paid off.

As SBA Administrator, I am making that message my mission.

There were about a dozen young girls in the audience, and they were invited onstage at the end of the panel. I want each of them to know their power – to have the confidence to think boldly, trust their instincts and follow their passions. To bet on themselves. To never miss an opportunity to learn something new because they fear making a mistake. My goal at SBA is to help create a brighter future – not just for those taking risks by launching and growing businesses today, but for the young people boldly dreaming of their own tomorrows.