Colonie - Janet Tanguay, Entrepreneurship Manager for the Capital Region Chamber, last week accepted the New York State Entrepreneurial Assistance Program's (EAP) 2015 Award for Excellence for outstanding program performance and achievement, as well as dedication to the entrepreneurs of New York State. The award was presented at the Entrepreneurial Assistance Program Annual Conference at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz. This is the fourth time the Chamber's program has been recognized with this award.
Tanguay recently celebrated 10 years in her position with the Chamber. The Entrepreneur Boot Camp is a 60-hour intensive training program that guides would-be entrepreneurs and existing businesses through the step-by-step process of starting, operating and managing a business. The program is held two nights per week over the course of 12 weeks.
During each session, business experts address topics critical to the growth of successful enterprises including accounting, legal, market research, real estate, taxes, insurance, payroll, cash flow, marketing, social media and more.
Participants develop a business plan, and toward the end of the course present the plan to a panel of judges. The winner of the business plan competition receives a $1,500 cash grant from Sunmark Federal Credit Union, a one-year Chamber membership, office equipment from Repeat Business Systems and two computer courses from MicroKnowledge.
There are 22 Entrepreneurial Assistance Program organizations located throughout New York State. The EAP Centers form a network that reaches all parts of the State - in urban and rural areas alike. Each EAP Center provides:
· Counseling on the feasibility of starting a business
· Assistance with refining a business idea and developing a business plan
· Education in established management principles and practices
· In-depth business counseling regarding product development and marketing
· Guidance on exporting, contract procurement and licensing
· One-on-one counseling to identify and access capital and credit
· Access to business support networks
· Ongoing and continued technical assistance to program graduates including linkages to other small business services.
Each EAP client receives at least 60 hours of classroom instruction designed to prepare first-time business owners for self-employment. This is supplemented by a minimum of 10 hours of hands-on counseling and technical assistance, all of which is tied to business plan development. In the 2014-2015 contract year EAP centers statewide:
· Serviced 1,463 new and prior year participants
· Assisted with starting 135 new businesses and helped retain 221 businesses
· Helped 334 existing businesses increase sales by $41.3 million
· Helped 125 start-ups increase sales by $3.3 million
· Assisted 185 businesses with securing $11 million in financing
· Helped 237 businesses increase employment by 650 employees
· Assisted with 268 businesses and the retention of 2,080 employees
· Helped 117 MWBEs with the certification process
To help maintain these outstanding numbers, EAP has some strict reporting requirements for the EAP centers. They must report as part of their contract on a quarterly basis the number of clients they service and/or what business impacts they have helped clients achieve. These goals include number of clients enrolled in the program, businesses started and saved, increased sales, increased employment, financing packages developed and secured, MWBE applications submitted and approved, veterans outreach and business mentorships facilitated.
Each year, centers that meet 100 percent or exceed expectations of these goals and requirements are awarded the Statewide Award of Excellence for Outstanding Program Performance and Achievement and Dedication to the Entrepreneurs of New York State.
More information about Entrepreneur Boot Camp is available at http://capitalregionchamber.
com/about/entrepreneur-boot- camp/ or by contacting Tanguay at 518.431.1430 or jtanguay@capitalregionchamber. com.
The Capital Region Chamber represents 2,800 businesses and organizations from throughout the Capital Region – Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties and beyond – that employ more than 150,000 area residents. The Capital Region Chamber is the hub of business in New York’s Capital Region. Our goal is economic prosperity for our business members and our community.