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New program, Chamber on the Go, providing a boost to small businesses in Brooklyn

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Lauren Glassberg is live in Bedford-Stuyvesant. (WABC)

A new initiative is reaching out to businesses in Brooklyn, to get them the help they need to succeed.

It's like a house call and it saves business owners from having to go into different city offices to get assistance.

Selwyn Robertson is hoping his new bagel shop, N-A Bagels, becomes known for its Caribbean bagels, those infused with the flavor of the tropics.

While marketing is a challenge for this small business owner, it may be made easier by the initiative, called Chamber on the Go, where representatives from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce go directly to small business owners.

"If you're looking to hire, we do the screening," said one representative during a visit.

The house call saves business owners the trip of going to a chamber of commerce office, and still gives them all the benefits.

"This ia free service we offer from the city," said the representative.

The city has put $400,000 into the Chamber on the Go program. Councilman Robert Cornegy and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce head Carlo Scissura worked together on this.

It's starting in Brooklyn with the hopes of growing to other boroughs.

"Small and micro business like these don't have the capacity to send someone to Chapel Street of Downtown Brooklyn to spend the day getting the information so if we could cut to the chase and bring those services to their door step it would be helpful," said Cornegy.

"Our real focus is to be out in communities like Crown Heights, East New York, Bed-Stuy, communities where there is a high unemployment rate and our services can help not just business owners but also some of the people looking for jobs," said Scissura.

Selwyn already employes four people, but if he sells more bagels he can hire more people, and the chamber on wheels may help him do so.

"They're making it easy by bringing the forms, sending the people and doing everything," he said.

The mobile unit has been out for a week and already visited 50 businesses, businesses that may not ever have used the services offered by the city.

For more information:
http://www.ibrooklyn.com/business_support/chamber_on_the_go.aspx

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businessbusinessbrooklyn newssmall business
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