"Working for Small Businesses in Queens"

Feb 10, 2004
Press Release

QUEENS, NY - Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY) will be announcing today a $150,000 federal appropriation for LaGuardia Community College to assist in the development of the college's business incubator program designed to accelerate the growth of fledgling design and production firms in western Queens.

"There is nothing better for a community's economic climate than a strong partnership between schools of higher education and local businesses," said Congresswoman Maloney. "I'm proud to be able to support the new partnerships developing between LaGuardia Community College and small businesses from Queens and throughout the New York City region. The economy of this entire community will be well served by the work LaGuardia and local small businesses will do together through this important Design Incubator."

Joining Congresswoman Maloney in the announcement will be Dr. Gail O. Mellow, president of LaGuardia; Dr. Louise Mirrer, executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, CUNY; Carolyn Everett, executive director, CUNY Economic Development Corp; George Utley, president, with John Utley & Michael Nellini, of Utley's, Woodside; Spencer Ferdinand, executive director, Queens Economic Development Corporation; and Gayle Baron, executive director, Long Island City Business Development Corporation.

In describing the mission of the college's latest economic development initiative, President Mellow said, "We seek to nurture young design companies so they become profitable, employ more people, and eventually "hatch" and thrive on their own in the Queens community. New York City is the world's design center, and LaGuardia, the World's Community College, can support small businesses to enter this $5 billion market with the visionary leadership of Congresswoman Maloney."

Launched within the past year, the program provides business growth services to a full range of design companies that produce high design and technologically advanced products for gift, home furnishing, architectural and building markets in the rapidly developing western Queens community.

Services include on-site management, customized space for each company, and specialized equipment for building prototypes and testing new produce ideas, and business counseling in areas such as business plan development, sourcing, design management and funding access. It also conducts business workshops and monthly professional development seminars to enable designers to make important business contacts.

"This funding," said Mary Howard, the program's director, " will remove major obstacles for designers who create customized new products for sale to clients."

The press conference was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in the college's business design incubator, New York Designs at LaGuardia Community College, at 29-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City.

The federal appropriation obtained by Congresswoman Maloney was advanced through the Appropriations Subcommittee on VA-HUD and Independent Agencies, and was included as part of the Omnibus Appropriations bill recently passed in Congress. Maloney expressed appreciation to Members of Congress James Walsh (NY) and Alan Mollohan (WV) who Chair the appropriations subcommittee through which the funds were allocated. She said, "Every project that advances through Congress requires collaboration, and I appreciate tremendously all of the supportive and coordinated efforts that the New York delegation and other leading Members of Congress initiate to help our city and state."