Suffolk County has announced the expansion of a series of workshops for small business owners seeking help to cope with the pandemic.
The workshops, a public-private partnership run by the Shift Group in partnership with the Stony Brook University School of Business and Suffolk Forward, are designed to provide small businesses with the tools they need to survive the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. The program is funded with economic support from Bank of America.
The new workshops, the first in December, followed by a second series in January, will accommodate between 200 and 300 small businesses in Suffolk County, according to Manuel London, dean of the College of Business at Stony Brook University.
Tom Moebus of the Shift Group, an online education company that trains entrepreneurs, said that small business owners are assigned to small teams in virtual training programs – which are already taking place on a pilot basis. Business owners, with the help of Stony Brook faculty, discuss the problems they are facing and share ideas with other small business owners in the workshops. The Shift Group also provides them with their own personalized “simple tool gearbox” to use for their recovery, said Mr. Moebus.
“This will help them overcome obstacles and … create a new way of working in the future,” he added.
Moebus said that working together with business can often move faster.
“When working in a desperate situation for a while, they run out of ideas,” he said of generally creative entrepreneurs.
Dave Calone of Suffolk Forward and county executive Steve Bellone said that guidance is even more important now. Bellone warned of a second growing wave of coronavirus cases and Calone warned that businesspeople could feel the effects of the lack of renewed assistance for the federal government’s economic recovery.
“This is something we started in the spring …” said Calone, “but it is more important now than ever.”
Small business owners interested in the program can register on the Shift Group website at shiftgroup.com/pandemic-shift.