Archive for November, 2011

Black Friday continues to break records

November 28, 2011

Black Friday traditionally helps companies who may have spent the year with more expenditures than revenue balance out yearend figures, and early reports from the Associated Press indicate this Black Friday was certainly no disappointment to retailers – and the struggling economy.

‘Buyers spent $11.4 billion at retail stores and malls, up nearly $1 billion from last year, according to a Saturday report from ShopperTrak. It was the largest amount ever spent on the day that marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season, and the biggest year-over-year increase since 2007.’

For the record, the Chicago-based ShopperTrak gathers data from more than 25,000 stores, shopping centers and other retail establishments from across the United States. According to reports from IBM, which also tracks customer activity, online shopping also did exceptionally well this year, increasing by nearly 25 percent from 2010 Black Friday.

In its second year of existence, the American Express-born Small Business Saturday also launched this past weekend, with big events in 15 cities and countless towns and villages across the country. On Facebook, more than 2.7 million people liked the event, and on Twitter, more than 30,000 tweets scattered about on the web.

Though Black Friday is primarily consumed by box stores, small businesses continue to be the backbone of the U.S. economy. As you continue to purchase gifts throughout this Holiday Season, remember this fact: Between 60 and 80 percent of all new jobs created in our country can be attributed to the nearly 28 million small businesses here in the states.

Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Small Business Saturday…and don’t forget about YOUR local entrepreneurs and small businesses this Holiday Season!

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Are you using New York City enough in your business?

November 21, 2011

By: Peter Gregory, OCBA Business Development Director

The 6th Annual NY XPO for Business last week, Wednesday, November 16th, at the Jacob Javits center proved to be an experience worthy of immediately scheduling on your calendar for next year, 2012.  OCBA was fortunate to be recognized as the primary beacon of startup business activity in the Hudson Valley, all the way from The Capital Region to NYC, by being invited to exhibit at the event.  It was by way of a combination of partner economic development organizations – the  New York Business Incubator Association, David Hochman, President, and Empire State Development’s Wendy Frank and Clayton Besch– that provided the opportunity for OCBA to exhibit at this pre-eminent  business conference, which I can now recommend to any early-stage business.

Not having strong expectations of outcome any kind in setting up our trade booth presentations for the event on the eve of conference, I was asking myself what would prevail the following the day.  Delightfully, the conference ultimately provided a standing-room-only crowd at our booth from show opening at 9 a.m. to conference close at 5 pm.  However, in speaking with conference attendees as they appeared at our booth, the key to this overwhelming  attention emerged quickly in this simple fact: everybody has the $Million +++ idea they want to launch, so we had no shortage of visitors to the booth all day long.  In years of working with early-stage business founders, I have come to respect every innovator’s concept because there really IS little predictability up-front in who will accomplish their dreams and who might not.  Of course, I stress to excited innovators who visited the booth – who represented all ages and other slices of demographics -that they have intellectual property protection on their idea – such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights – before they share their idea with anybody.  Of course, and unfortunately, that includes oftentimes not sharing your new idea – even with me!  Many follow up appointments were set for this week so I will be busy corresponding with and helping these early-stage innovators through the array of OCBA services.

We all know that NYC is the center of business in the US Northeast. One of the greatest selling features of establishing your business in Orange County, and using the services of the Business Accelerator, as I often point out to the founders of new businesses, is 1) a family-friendly suburban quality of life, here, coupled with  and 2) a relatively lower cost of living. Both of these factors enhance the access to business relationships, capital, and markets in the NYC business capital for Orange-County-based businesses.  As a positive strategy for many of our businesses at OCBA, “pre-flighting” business to a Hudson Valley market can be the essential stepping stone to the higher-density B2B and B2C markets New York City represents.

Returning to the topic of the NY XPO, the conference proved itself to be a premier place and experience for businesses to gain new customers, in updating a personal business-knowledge toolkit, and forming valuable relationships with suppliers, vendors, and possibly even partners.  Key to the value of the conference was the long list of business leaders from companies with marquis-name status, who presented at the conference in the abundant seminar threads on diverse topics of marketing, funding, and operating your business.  My take-away from this NY XPO is that  I believe every early-stage business is able to accumulate 6-12 months of focused business-expansion practices and relationships that they pick up at the show – the exhibitor hall and seminar rooms were literally buzzing.

So, my message to you, the startup executive and business founder, is get up and get out! The NY XPO and other conferences like it, are packed with valuable opportunity to network with other business leaders, attend valuable seminars, and to identify vendors and partners for your business.  In the meantime I recommend you take advantage of the many seminars we bring to on a weekly basis – and better yet, we’re located in your own business’ back yard!

See the events tab at our website for more details of the programs we bring to you and check out our Facebook page for photos from the NY Xpo event.

Thanks!

Orange County IDA: Hard at Work for YOU

November 14, 2011

Two years ago, Orange County IDA Attorney Phil Crotty and Executive Director Jim O’Donnell had a vision of a business incubator like no other. They wanted to do more than offer traditional IDA benefits- they wanted to be different. Two years later, here we are at full capacity at our 10,000-square-foot facility, hosting numerous business development seminars every month that have so far brought more than 2,000 businessmen and women through our front door.

 

In celebration of their accomplishments with the Accelerator and dozens of projects across Orange County, we’d like to congratulate the IDA in its success.

Enjoy their new commercial premiering today on Time Warner and Cablevision in Orange County!

 

 

 

Latest event a great education on Human Resources

November 7, 2011

Orange County Business Accelerator clients provide great value at our education series. Last week nearly two dozen attentative listeners were educated by Tom Lemmey and Ed Kowalski, of Ethan Allen Personnel Group, who returned to the mic to bring us the latest news on Human Resources for small and start-up businesses.

Every month our Entrepreneur Knowledge Series continues to shine, and this one was no different. Here’s a sneak peak of the pics. For more, check out our Facebook page!

 


Orange County Business Accelerator Introduces Community Communications

November 2, 2011

New Windsor, N.Y. – October 26, 2011 – Orange County Business Accelerator (OCBA) recently introduced Community Communications as its newest resident client.

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, OCBA Managing Director Michael J. DiTullo was joined by State Senator William Larkin in introducing the communications and event management start-up’s president/CEO and Orange County resident David Rein to current clients and supporters at the Accelerator’s office in New Windsor, N.Y.

Community Communications President/CEO David Rein addresses other Orange County Business Accelerator clients and supporters on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at the Accelerator office at 4 Crotty Lane, New Windsor, N.Y.

“The idea for this company started out back in 1993 and is now beginning a new phase in its life,” said Rein. “I initially connected with the Accelerator at the Orange County Chamber of Commerce business expo last month and immediately realized the Accelerator would be my best chance at success.”

Sen. Larkin added, “I’ve known David since he was knee high to a grasshopper and I know he’s dedicated to making this company successful. Orange County Business Accelerator is the perfect place for David to utilize the skills he has learned in the communications field and help take his company to new heights.”

“From Concept to Completion,” as Rein puts it in the form of a company slogan, Community Communications offers event planning, teleconferencing, video conferencing, A/V equipment and services, video production services and more.

Community Communications was established in 1993 and started out as a communications program at an elementary school in the state. The program still exists and has been replicated throughout New York State. Since then, the company has grown to service local and regional TV stations, including CNN, Fox-TV, ABC-TV NY, NewsCenter 6 (Cablevision in Dutchess County), News 12 The Bronx (Cablevision) and RNN-TV.

Under a previous corporation, the company provided communications services to senior level clients in the Government, Legal, Medical, Pharmaceutical and other industries at venues such as: United Nations, Rockefeller Center, The Yale Club and The Ritz. The company is currently owned by Chai on Life, LLC.

DiTullo added, “Orange County is dedicated to retaining and growing businesses and the Accelerator provides the tools for companies like Community Communications to grow and prosper. With a wide array of communications and event management services offered, Community Communications has tremendous opportunity to bring real jobs, real close to home in Orange County.”

Currently nearing its 2-year anniversary, the Accelerator now boasts 18 clients and tenants with more than 55 jobs in total at its state-of-the-art facility in New Windsor, N.Y. For more information on current clients, please visit www.ocaccelerator.com/clients.php

OCBA, located at 4 Crotty Lane in New Windsor, N.Y. at New York International Plaza at Stewart Airport, is a business incubator program launched by the Orange County Industrial Development Agency (IDA). The incubator, 12,600 square feet of Class A high-tech research and development space, is designed to attract new entrepreneurial investment by providing businesses with below market occupancy costs, a menu of mentoring programs and a high-tech plug-and-play office environment.