The New York Enterprise Report is pleased to honor these winners. They’ve helped business owners obtain financing, navigate the maze of government regulations, share ideas with other business owners and generally improve their businesses.
From the more than 500,000 small businesses in the New York tri-state area: Congratulations — and thank you — to the 2007 Small Business Advocates.
WSJ RADIO NETWORK, WCBS 880
The news editor and anchor for Dow Jones & Company’s Wall Street Journal Radio Network, is passionate about business reporting. His reports, which largely focus on small and midsize businesses, are heard by more than 2 million listeners each week on WCBS 880 radio in New York and by more nationally on podcasts and on satellite radio. His audience of business owners has come to depend on his lively, incisive coverage of the small business market. He is a master at spotting trends and distilling business news and insights that are important to the small business owner.
Connolly has had a long and varied career in journalism. Prior to joining The Wall Street Journal he covered sports, the White House, the State Department and the Olympics for the Associated Press and RKO Radio Network, served as press secretary to then-Congressman Christopher Dodd and managed several news radio stations. He has been honored by the New York Press Club and the Small Business Administration, an honor given to individuals for “voluntary efforts beyond business and professional responsibilities to advance individual or collective small business interests within the community.”
To Joe, it simply feels good to know he has made an impact on the people who take his reports to heart. “I get e-mails sometimes from people who tell me that I encouraged them to start their own business. I think that’s because when I started these reports 15 years ago, I decided that they would not be a negative gripe session, but instead be solution-oriented. They would focus on the answers individual businesspeople found to their problems — not on the problems themselves,” he says. He adds modestly, “Hey, the reports are really just the owners’ stories. All I do is tell them.” Modesty aside, his reports are widely recognized as top-notch. “I’m still impressed by Joe Connolly after all these years,” said a listener at a recent WCBS breakfast event, “His knowledge, understanding and interest in helping us grow a business is truly remarkable.”
Joe Connolly is the rare radio personality who has forged a personal connection with his listeners. In short, he is the voice of small business, not only in the New York area, but nationwide.
Robert W. Walsh
NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES
Still think government is more of a hindrance than a help to small businesses?
Meet the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS).
The SBS was formed in 2002 to serve as a single point of access for small businesses to interact with government. That means whether a business is looking to apply for permits or licenses, obtain financing, hire and train workers, bid on government contracts or take advantage of business resources in the city, assistance can come from one source. The NYC Business Solutions system, the SBS’s primary initiative, can be accessed online (www.nyc.gov/sbs), by telephone (by dialing 311 in New York City) or by visiting one of eight Business Solutions Centers located throughout the five boroughs.
This is the first time a city agency has been created specifically to address the needs of small businesses in New York, which employ half of the private sector workforce in the city.
Robert W. Walsh is the founding commissioner of the SBS. Immediately prior to his current job, Commissioner Walsh was the president of Charlotte (N.C.) Center City Partners, a business district improvement group. However, the Brooklyn native’s formative professional experience came from 1989 to 1997, when he led New York’s Union Square Partnership, which revitalized that neighborhood. “Everyone has favorite jobs in their career, and that had to be mine. When we started in 1989, the area was, for the most part, blighted. But there were determined people who had a vision for their neighborhood and that helped transform Union Square,” he says.
Janet Bamford is the executive editor of The New York Enterprise Report. She can be reached at email@example.com.