Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NACC 2012 International & Multicultural Business Expo An Eye Opener for Small Business Owners

By Marilyn Silverman
The 2012 International & Multicultural Business Expo, hosted  by NACC, at the Marriott Hotel, downtown Brooklyn on June 14, was dubbed a smashing success by both exhibitors and attendees.  The day commenced with a business breakfast, setting the platform for networking opportunities.

   While the Expo has been over for some time now, its impact on those who experienced it, is so invaluable, that many businesses will reap dividends not bargained for. At the breakfast, business owners were treated not only to a sumptuous  meal, but  also benefited from organized and calculated business education on how to seize opportunities to expand their ventures, even how to take advantage of both federal and city resources that will enable growth  and provide economic stability for many; these efforts will help to stimulate jobs for the minority communities. The truth be told, that’s the sole purpose for organizing the Expo. Brian Figeroux, Esq., Founder/Chairman/CEO and the mastermind of the event, seized this opportunity to promulgate the objective for organizing such an event: “The New American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), The African American International Chamber of Commerce and the NY Statewide Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, have decided to come together to work for the benefit of our people. The workers in New York City have a union to represent them, but, where is the union for small business people? Business people need a union also, and their union is us, the chambers of commerce. The small businesses need us to represent them. The largest employers in America are small businesses. If you want to impact unemployment in our communities, if you want to impact crime in our communities… start a small business.”

   If that was not sufficient food for thought,  Region 2 Director for the SBA, Jorge Silva-Puras, spread the table with a second course, detailing essential resources that are available to small businesses within New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. He noted that the federal government, through his organization, has committed to working with individuals who are determined to create small businesses. He added that as a result of funding approved for his administration, there are more than 2.7 million small businesses operating in his region alone. Loans ranging from $50,000 to $5.5 million  are made available through the SBA capital access program and its commercial lending program. He stressed that small businesses need capital to grow and that’s where the SBA comes in to make that growth a reality. Silva-Puras said: “We are not a direct lending institution. What we actually do is, we guarantee to the banks your loan at a very high percentage. It can be as high as 85% of the loan. So if you want to get a loan of $100,000, and you go to the commercial bank but for whatever reason, you do not qualify  under their terms…that’s a situation where SBA comes in and guarantees your loan up to 85%. That means that the bank is only risking 15%...obviously, it makes a big difference with the bank, particularly in this environment.”

   Not to be outdoned by what Silva-Puras  said, the City of New York representative, Gregory Mayers also took to the podium to show the city’s support for the establishment and sustainability of small businesses. He encouraged business owners to get certified with the city so they can benefit  from the contracts and other programs the city has to offer small businesses. He noted that in 2011, some $563 million  were awarded in contracts to MWBE certified businesses. He added that $40 billion  have been allocated for the next five years with $15 billion going towards infrastructure alone, and small businesses should take advantage of this: “You have to get involved; you have to be a part of the process; you got to be engaged. And advocacy groups really let us know where the short falls are and some of the challenges that small businesses face and chambers such as the New American Chamber of Commerce play that significant role. I urge and encourage you to do that.” Referring to the contracts awarded last year he added: “The amount may be small to some but for those who received it, it was able to feed their families and put them back in business—that’s substantial. Can we do more, yes; are we willing to do more, yes; are we willing to partner with organizations like the NACC to do more? Absolutely.” 

   Following the breakfast, participants took advantage of exhibiting their businesses and products; they also attended  the  seminars that were organized by NACC to help educate and inform business owners  on how to expose, expand and maintain their businesses in a growing competitive market.  In the wink of an eye, the exhibition site became a competitive environment as hundreds poured in to participate in the various seminars and view the exhibits. A gamut of businesses were represented. 

  Many gave kudos to NACC for taking the initiative to organize the event, thus providing businesses with an opportunity to provide information to the public and other businesses about their products and business ventures. Many shared excitement and satisfaction for being a part of the day’s event. Here are some of the testimonials:

   A representative of the New York City Small Business Development Center said: “My experience here today has been very good. There are a lot of vendors here who have a lot of information to share with the community. Interacting with businesses like the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the New American Chamber of Commerce, the McGraw Hill representatives and other business provide me the platform needed for what I do. I love it and I am enjoying the event.”

     And an exciting participant appeared out of his skin to share his thoughts: “It is my first time visiting something like this and I am really enjoying what I am seeing. It’s amazing how the chamber of commerce put together a program where everybody can benefit. If I am to grade the event today I will definitely give close to a ten if not a ten, on a scale of one to ten.”
 For more testimonials, photos and videos visit www.mynacc.org.
  The Chamber  is aiming at making this  an annual event. Next year’s event is slated for Thursday,June 20, 2013 and with a new component, franchising. For information on the NACC Multicultural Business & Franchising Expo including early bird discounts, visit www.mynacc.org or call 718-722-9217 to schedule an appointment.

President's Message

Dear NACC Members and Friends:

Since our founding in 2005, the New American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) has dedicated itself to providing assistance to all small businesses within New York City. We strongly believe that all businesses should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential. Not only does the Chamber provide avenues for small business to gather further assistance, the Chamber also offers workshops and events for businesses to expand their visibility within the community. Given the current workforce and the socio-economic demands, it is critical to support these entrepreneurs in the undeserved areas of New York City.

As the new President of the New American Chamber of Commerce, my main priority has been to enhance programming, expand and deepen community relations and diversify the Chamber’s funding sources for small businesses. Clearly expressing the organization’s strategic goals and direction will help to deepen trust and support for the Chamber, and build on our rich legacy of almost 8 years of service to the New York City community.

In November 2012, NACC’s board of directors released the executive summary of our 2013 Multicultural Business and Minority Franchise Expo, to be held at the New York Marriott at 333 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY on Thursday, June 20, 2013. We are excited to share our strategic vision, aiming to gain your participation and involvement. To register for the conference as a business or participant, click here. As such, we are committed to earning your business, trust, satisfaction and partnership. By working together we can have another successful conference, thus moving the organization, membership and sponsors forward toward prosperity and a renewed purpose.

Thank you for your continued support.


Pearl Phillip


Check us out : www.mynacc.org or www.falaw.us

Introduction to LinkedIn

Looking for a new job or trying to stay on top of your game? Yes. Then, one of the easiest ways to accomplish this is this to maintain a professional profile online and the best way to accomplish this is with LinkedIn.

What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 175 million members and growing rapidly. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals. LinkedIn gives you the keys to controlling your online identity. Have you Googled yourself lately? You never know what may come up. LinkedIn profiles rise to the top of search results, letting you control the first impression people get when searching for you online.

Getting started with LinkedIn
So how does one get started? Simple, start with the basics. Fill out your professional information, import a new headshot and reach out to all relevant current and former colleagues, clients and classmates.

Insider Tips to Making LinkedIn Work for You
According to Krista Canfield, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications at LinkedIn and Nicole Williams, Connection Director for the company, the following are their best suggestions for maximum efficiency when using the site:

•    Stop by regularly: Don’t just stop by when you are glossing over your profile. The site is interactive. Make use of it. “Your LinkedIn homepage is a customizable, one-stop shop for finding all the business insights you need to conquer your workday. You can read the top industry headlines from Linkedn Today, search for new clients and find out who in your network got promoted while drinking your coffee,” says Canfield. If you see that someone has updated their profile, you can “like” it – a professional version of the same Facebook tool.
(CBSMoney Watch)

•    Follow company pages: “More than two million companies Apple and Google, have LinkedIn company pages. Follow LinkedIn Company Pages for automatic updates on your homepage when people leave or join the companies you’re interested in, when those companies post jobs, or when they share news on LinkedIn,” suggests Williams. This feature is key to staying in the know with minimal effort – in other words, making LinkedIn work for you, even when you are not actually looking for information.
(CBSMoney Watch)

•    Use LinkedIn Answers: This function allows you to access the large LinkedIn network as well as find information you want, customized for you. “Responses link back to profiles, so many LinkedIn members use Answers as an opportunity to promote their expertise with high quality, well-thought-out responses,” says Williams. So, not only do you get answers, but you can network, naturally and efficiently.
(CBSMoney Watch)

Check us out at www.falaw.us or www.mynacc.org


This exclusive group of business professionals serves as advocates for the Chamber and the business community. Ambassadors enjoy the rewards of making new contacts, strengthening relationships and accessing a wealth of information and resources.
Ambassadors meet once per month at the Chamber unless otherwise noted.

Mission Statement

As Chamber Ambassadors, we represent an informed and active group of business leaders who serve as liaisons between NACC and our community. Our goal is to increase and retain members by active participation in our business community and chamber functions, programs and committees. We will maintain communication between our Board of Directors and our fellow Ambassadors and encourage attendance to all Chamber functions. We will continue to act as mentors to our new members to help our Chamber grow. We accept the commitment of positive leadership in our Chamber and will work as a team of goodwill Ambassadors to our community.

Ambassador Criteria
Chamber Ambassadors are an informed group of motivated, enthusiastic and articulate businessmen and women who serve as the backbone of the Chamber’s membership retention program. They represent the Chamber at many civic and social functions. 

Ambassadors must meet the following criteria: 
Chamber member in good standing
Personable, positive attitude
Excellent business reputation in community
Knowledgeable of Chamber programs

Ambassador Benefits 

  • Visibility at Chamber functions and on the Chamber website
  • Eligibility for “Ambassadors of the Year” presented at the Chamber Annual Business Awards Luncheon
  • Develop leadership image by enhancing relevant professional programs and networking opportunities
  • Networking with a variety of business professionals
  • Firsthand updates from the President of the Chamber and direct contact with decision-makers

Goals & Objectives

  • Provide ongoing membership contact to help promote retention and encourage member involvement .
  • Welcome and assist all Chamber members at meetings and /or events
  • Visit new businesses and inform them of the benefits of becoming a Chamber member
  • Promote Chamber membership peer to peer and complete application process

Responsibilities / Expectations / Activities

  • Monthly contact with an assigned number of long-term, new and “at risk” Chamber members
  • Track and report contacts to Chamber staff each month
  • Promote participation and attendance at various Chamber events to assigned accounts
  • Attend Chamber meetings and events
  • Attend Monthly Ambassador Meeting (only 3 unexcused absences allowed)
  • Attend Chamber ribbon cuttings
  • Attend Chamber news conferences
  • Attend Chamber special events
  • Nominate new members with application
  • Distribute new member plaque, decal and directory to new members
  • Assist the Chamber in various community image campaigns
  • Assist with membership drives – both new and retention

Each Ambassador is asked to serve on a Chamber committee; nominees for Ambassadors are recommend to the Board of Directors by Ambassadors.

If you are interested in becoming an Ambassador or learning more about the program, contact the President of the Chamber.

CHECK US OUT : www.falaw.us or www.mynacc.org