SBA Syracuse April Newsletter: Award-winning Microloan Program in Albany, WISE Symposium Celebrates 10 Years, and SBA Announces Supplier Portal

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April 9, 2012

It's Your Business

Syracuse District Office Newsletter

 brought to you by the U.S. Small Business Administration
Top (l-r): Peter Wohl, Capital Region Director, Empire State Development, George Philip, President, University at Albany, Michael Castellana, Presiden

 SEED Program

 in Capital

 Region Earns



The newest entrepreneurial program in the Capital Region is geared towards those aspiring business owners who have more dreams than dollars. SEED, or Small Enterprise Economic Development, is the first public-private collaboration between Empire State Development (ESD), SEFCU, and the University of Albany that offers small business training, mentoring, peer support, and character-based financing. The SEED program links faculty, staff and graduate students from the University of Albany School of Social Welfare, School of Business and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) with $2.5 million micro-loan fund from SEFCU and $96,700 infrastructure support from ESD.

“Since launching in July 2011, 28 SEED graduates are starting or expanding started their businesses, creating/saving 68 jobs. The University’s partnership with ESD and SEFCU has made this program one that is changing lives and our communities,” said Bill Brigham, director of the SBDC at University of Albany.

The three-hour classes on business planning, financial management and marketing are held for 10 weeks on campus at the University of Albany, including the final class where program participants pitch their business loan requests to SEFCU loan officers. $630,000 in microloans have been approved for SEED graduates, creating access to capital and immediate job creation. This innovative program has gained national recognition and will be honored at the 2012 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards hosted by the New York University Stern School of Business on April 27.

If you live in the Capital Region and would like more information about participating in the SEED program, please contact SEED Program Coordinator Ryan Busch at 518-485-7697 or The next class starts in June and space is limited, so early applications are encouraged for this popular program.

WISE Symposium 2012- WISE WBC Advisory Board members with Barbara Corcoran (fourth from left)

WISE Symposium Turns 10, Hosts 'Shark Tank' Star Barbara Corcoran

On April 3, the 10th annual WISE Symposium drew over 1,000 women business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to downtown Syracuse for a full-day conference of speakers, workshops and networking. Hosted by title sponsors Syracuse University's Whitman School of Management and KeyBank, the symposium is a one-day event that is augmented by year-round support and planning from the WISE Women's Business Center. For the third year, the event included the WISE Connections Café, a satellite WBC to capture women in the environment, with startup info and a quick counseling. The popular WISE Magazine was also unveiled for the symposium, including articles about WISE WBC clients who have started and expanded their own businesses.

Barbara Corcoran delivered the afternoon keynote address, unveiling her unconventional path on her road to success. Corcoran, barred by many obstacles with less than satisfactory grades in high school and college, had already been through dozens of jobs by the time she was 23. She turned her story around when she started The Corcoran Group in 1973, with a $1,000 loan, selling it in 2001 for nearly $70 million. Corcoran is also an investor/shark on ABC's reality hit show Shark Tank.

Supplier Connection branding

SBA Announces New Supplier Connection

A new private-public collaboration will help small businesses strengthen their revenue streams by gaining access to more than $300 billion in combined supply chain spending by a consortium of 15 of America’s largest corporations, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced on March 22.
Supplier Connection is a free, online portal created by the IBM Foundation that allows small businesses to send information about their products and services to 15 large private sector companies.  The 15 companies participating in Supplier Connection are: AMD, AT&T, Bank of America, Caterpillar, Citi Group, Dell, Facebook, IBM, JP Morgan Chase, John Deere, Kellogg’s, Office Depot, Pfizer, UPS and Wells Fargo.  Together, these 15 companies have a combined purchasing power of $300 billion and now they will have full access to the profiles of small businesses that have registered for Supplier Connection.


Using Your Website To Increase Your International Sales

May 22 in Elmira

May 23 in Ithaca

The Buffalo and Rochester Export Assistance Centers, in conjunction with local partners, are hosting half-day seminars in Elmira and Ithaca, NY to help local firms learn about the available tools and best practices to more effectively market their products and services both locally and internationally.
The seminars will focus on online tools for small businesses, search engine optimization strategies, localization vs. internationalization of website content, and avoiding fraud.

>Register online for Elmira seminar or Ithaca seminar


A Tax Guide for Small Business Owners

April 25

8:30 - 11:00 a.m. Corning SBDC

The Corning SBDC hosts NYS Dept. of Taxation's Suzanne Reusch in an informative seminar that will cover everything from sales tax issues and NYS filing requirements to independent contractor questions.

>Register by phone at 607-937-6861 or email at

Recent SBA Lending Activity