Tired of the corporate rat race?  Tired of looking for that increasingly elusive job?  Want to be your own boss?  There are numerous free and low-cost resources available in New York to help you if you are thinking of starting your own business.   New business development is critical for economic recovery and growth, so there is great interest in helping new businesses establish themselves in New York, particularly small businesses.  Small businesses account for the majority of new job growth across the country.  According to the U.S. Small Business Administration:

Firms with fewer than 500 employees accounted for 64 percent (or 14.5 million) of the 22.5 million net new jobs (gains minus losses) between 1993 and the third quarter of 2008.
Continuing firms accounted for 68 percent of net new jobs, and the other 32 percent reflect net new jobs from firm births minus those lost in firm closures (1993 to 2007).

Source: U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business Employment Dynamics. Note that the methodology used for the figures above counts job gains or losses in the actual class size where they occurred.

For more information on small business trends, including survival rate, financing, etc., visit the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy website.  Here is a link to their FAQ’s:  http://www.sba.gov/advo/stats/sbfaq.pdf.

Today’s New York Times illustrated just what is going on for many of the over 50 crowd who’ve lost jobs during the recession.http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/03/your-money/03shortcuts.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=What%20Recovery?&st=Search

Whether underemployed or unemployed, with employers still hesitant to add jobs, it just may be up to you to make your own.

If you are on unemployment assistance in New York and are considering launching a new venture look into the Self Employment Assistance Program: http://www.labor.ny.gov/ui/claimantinfo/specialprovisions.shtm#SP1.   If you have done nothing to start a business yet and have at least 13 weeks of unemployment assistance remaining, this program will allow you to focus all your energies on launching a business rather than looking for employment.  It provides tremendous support towards viable self-employment.

In addition to the State program, New York City has several programs and initiatives to support small business creation and development: http://www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/html/business/business.shtml

The NYPL is also a valuable resource.  The Science, Industry, and Business Library (SIBL) located in the building once known as B. Altman’s, offers information for market research, business plan development, and much more.  SCORE volunteers are available to provide guidance and counsel.  See SIBL’s small business resource center at:  http://legacy.www.nypl.org/research/sibl/smallbiz/sbrc/Pages/

With a simple on-line search, you can find the basic information you’ll need to get started.  One great resource, dedicated to women entrepreneurs, is Ladies That Launch.  You don’t need to be female to benefit from this site. Access to basic tools and templates for launching a business is available to anyone for free: http://www.ladieswholaunch.com/magazine/tools-docs-templates

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