Classes Will Help Some 200,000 Mom-And-Pop Businesses

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City has launched a new program to help move some 200,000 mom-and-pop small businesses into the Digital Age.

In conjunction with Google, Mashable, Tumblr and other tech sites, the Department of Small Business Services and NYC Digital has announced it’ll offer free web courses to small business owners to help them be more competitive with larger companies.

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“Among the skills entrepreneurs can gain from these courses include learning how to launch a website quickly and easily, how to process sales online and through mobile payments and how to leverage social media,” Mayor Bloomberg said.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

The classes are geared at helping small businesses launch or expand online sales.

“They need help in developing their websites, they need help in keeping track of inventory of their stock. And this is exactly what we’re talking about today,” Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Rob Walsh said at the announcement news conference in Jamaica, Queens.

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WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

“Entrepreneurs will be able to walk out of courses or use the online guides with the new website or Facebook page, and the training that they need to use and attract and retain customers, grow business and create jobs and value in New York City,” Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot said.

“90% of people, when they’re looking for a small business service or product, look online. And about 60% of small businesses are currently online, so there’s a huge amount of increase that’s possible there,” Haot said.

City officials said the classes will provide a kind of digital technology toolkit to small business owners who do not have the staff or resources on their own.

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What do you think of this new program? Will you take advantage of it? Share your comments below.