Posted on: July 5, 2022 Posted by: AKDSEO Comments: 0

The city of Newburgh is following through with a commitment it previously made to try to help small businesses. For a second year, Newburgh presented its Small Business Bootcamp program and on June 16 there was a graduation ceremony for the 30 participants. The event took place at the Newburgh Free Library.

“Through our strong partnership with the SBA (Small Business Administration), the Newburgh Free Library, the SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, we are able to offer small businesses the tools they need to thrive,” said Ellen Fillo, director of community development for the city of Newburgh.

The Bootcamp program featured six online small business resource workshops. There was no charge to participate.

“Small-businesses are the foundation of a community,” Fillo said. “There’s been an increase in business requests from people who are looking for more information on starting a small business and other established businesses who are trying to make more connections and take their existing business to the next level.”

The Bootcamp’s 90-minute sessions provide information on the necessary tools, resources and steps needed to start or enhance an existing business. Local business owners and consultants covered topics such as how to build a business from a hobby, creating a brand, making connections, setting up a website and/or online store, writing a business plan and the process for setting up a food establishment.

Bootcamp graduates pose with their graduation certificates.
Bootcamp graduates pose with their graduation certificates.

“The Bootcamp educated us on what we needed to know to ensure our business foundation was solid and how to make our business profitable,” said Candace Fevrier, who with business partner Tameka Hunter operates Like Us: Sisters with Vision. “I learned so many new things that I had no clue about prior to the workshop. One major thing I learned was how to effectively set up an online store and how important it is to understand web platforms and their functions and how to use them effectively for your business.”

Fevrier said that she especially appreciated a presentation on business structures and the significance of having a business plan in order to secure funding and establishing concrete goals within a timeline.

“The Bootcamp will definitely help our business get to the next level because the program provided us with practical tools for success,” Fevrier said. “The classes were detailed but simple enough for anyone to understand and follow.”

Mackie Rondon, owner of Mackie Rondon Shoes that offers private label shoes, materials for making shoes and shoe repairs, registered for the program because she felt shoe manufacturing was an almost non existent trade and she wanted to obtain basic business knowledge and information on grants or loan assistance.

“Taking the Bootcamp will help me be a better leader with my core organization, not just on how my business should be run, but delegating skills and duties to others, to become a more efficient and profitable business,” Rondon said. “I gained more knowledge about how to set my online store. Determining which service and software to use was something I struggled with until after this seminar. Now I feel more prepared when selecting a host and online service. Branding was demystified in simpler and effective ways that I started branding my business across specific platforms and after taking the seminar I was able to hone into social media platforms and make all information cohesive.”

The Bootcamp is designed to help entrepreneurs set strategic goals and position their business for success in the marketplace.

“I finally understood that my customers and my brand go hand-in-hand with my business goals and my plan of action. Before, I thought I needed everyone to like my services and products and I always felt overwhelmed with the thought of having to rally on social media about my brand,” Rondon said. “I started to market my company with higher standards and vision, communicating a creditable message that there are many great reasons for people to use/buy my services.”

Since the launch of the Bootcamp, Fillo has received positive feedback and more interest in the program.

“It’s so great that we are able to respond to and meet the needs of the community,” said Fillo, who is already planning for the Fall 2022 program that will include information on starting a nonprofit. “The program is evolving. We’re hoping we can offer even more going forward and we’re looking at ways to add exciting features to make them more interactive. If we can help the businesses thrive, the city will thrive.”