Empire State Development announces 2015 Entrepreneurial Assistance Program awardees

Three Entrepreneurial Assistance Program Centers Recognized For Outstanding Achievement

At the annual Entrepreneurial Assistance Program Conference, Empire State Development (ESD) announced that three Entrepreneurial Assistance Programs (EAP) were selected as 2015 Award For Excellence recipients. The three award winners, located in the Capital Region, Central Region, and Finger Lakes, were chosen for their outstanding program performance and achievement, and dedication to the entrepreneurs of New York State. The 2015 EAP Conference brought together all 22 EAPs and featured workshops, breakout group sessions, and networking opportunities that will help grantees meet and exceed expected performance levels during the new contract year.
“I congratulate the award recipients on their hard work and contribution to the business community in New York State,” said ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “This year’s ceremony recognized the importance of EAP centers across the state and truly highlighted their commitment to entrepreneurship. I look forward to their growth and continued successes.” 
The 2015 EAP Award recipients, representing exemplary leadership and collaboration throughout the state, are as follows:
Capital Region Chamber – Entrepreneur Boot Camp EAP Center

The Capital Region Chamber has been providing technical and financial assistance through the Entrepreneurial Assistance Program since 1991.  During this time hundreds of entrepreneurs have been assisted throughout their different business stages.

The EAP at Capital Region Chamber won the Statewide Award of Excellence in 2008, 2011 and 2013.

This past year, the EAP at Capital Region Chamber:

  • Provided services to 77 new and prior year clients;
  • Helped start or retain 18 businesses;
  • 38 businesses increase their sales by $3 Million;
  • 29 businesses expanded or retained 177 employees;
  • 19 loan packages were secured resulting in $753,500 in financing; and
  • 25 business plans were created.

IBERO American Action League-Medaille EAP Center

IBERO American Action League has been operating the IBERO Medaille College Entrepreneurial Assistance Center since 1991.  The collaboration with Medaille affords the EAP center the ability to offer clients state of the art classrooms to train in, the latest technology in computers and software and the use of quality instructors and mentors to work with the clients. 

This past year, the EAP at IBERO-Medaille:

  • Provided services to 56 new and prior year clients;
  • Helped start or retain 10 businesses;
  • 11 businesses increase their sales by $1.2 Million dollars;
  • 10 businesses expanded or retained 121 employees;
  • 7 loan packages were secured resulting in $205,000 in financing; and
  • 15 business plans were created.

South Side Innovation EAP Center at Syracuse University

The South Side Innovation EAP Center has been in existence since 2006 and has served thousands of individuals, many of them marginalized by economic and life circumstances, to develop a concept from start to business launch, and then to business growth through entrepreneurial education and training programs such as the EAP.

This past year, the EAP at South Side:

  • Provided services to 81 new and prior year clients;
  • Helped start or retain 30 businesses;
  • Helping 19 businesses increase their sales by $840,818;
  • 20 businesses expanded or retained 259 employees;
  • 10 loan packages were secured resulting in $214,500 in financing; and
  • 15 business plans were created.

At the conference, ESD officials also announced the addition of two new EAP centers: Hot Bread Kitchen and Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (BSRC). Serving the Harlem Community, Hot Bread Kitchen is a non-profit that provides unemployed and underemployed minority and immigrant women with paid on-the-job training in commercial baking and job placement in the food industry. BSRC, the nation’s first community development corporation, will work with residents and businesses to attain the comprehensive revitalization of Central Brooklyn.
In addition, the Women’s Enterprise Development Center (WEDC), a nonprofit small business development organization promoting economic self-sufficiency through self-employment, has recently expanded its reach to other areas of the Mid-Hudson region.  Since its formation in 1997, WEDC has earned a reputation as the go to organization for high quality entrepreneurial training programs and services for start-up and established business owners in Westchester County and the Lower Hudson Valley.
“EAP will be a key partner in creating pathways to certification for service-disabled veterans seeking to start or build their businesses and become part of the NYS nation leading program with a 6% contract participation goal for service-disabled veteran-owned businesses,” said Kenneth Williams, Director for the Division of Service-Disabled Veterans’ Business Development.
Director of the NYS Division of Entrepreneurial Assistance Program Joyce Smith said, “The New York State Entrepreneurial Assistance Program has provided services to New York State entrepreneurs for almost 30 years.  In 2015 the EAP network provided services to over 1,463 participants who increased sales by $44.7 Million, started or retained 356 businesses, increased and/or retained employment by 2,750, and secured $11 million in financing.  These are impressive statistics for organizations that work with minimal staff and resources and they never falter when asked to take on additional initiatives, they are truly an entrepreneurial driven group.  I congratulate all 22 EAP Centers who work tirelessly every day to help NYS entrepreneurs realize their dreams of business ownership. It is a pleasure to work with them and to be a part of this valuable state program.”
New York State’s Entrepreneurial Assistance Program (EAP) was created in 1987 by the NYS Omnibus Economic Development Act. Since its inception, the EAP initiative has helped entrepreneurs create new businesses and has provided in-depth assistance to minorities, women, dislocated workers and individuals with a disability interested in starting a business. The EAP establishes centers in local communities to provide instruction, training, technical assistance and support services to individuals who have recently started their own business or are interested in starting a business. The program’s EAP centers are strategically located throughout the state. EAP assists new and aspiring entrepreneurs in developing basic business management skills, refining business concepts, devising early-stage marketing plans and preparation of action plans. In addition, the program actively assists EAP client efforts to obtain business financing.


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