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U.S. Commerce Department's CommerceConnect Expands Into New York Metro Area

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 25, 2011
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
202-482-4883

CommerceConnect business assistance initiative in New York is one of 16 to launch this year

Following the launch of its Michigan office last September, the U.S. Commerce Department’s CommerceConnect is expanding into New York – one of 16 regions where the service is being launched this year.

Announced in 2009, CommerceConnect is a one-stop-shop initiative in which Commerce Department employees are cross-trained so that they have the ability to connect firms to the full menu of Commerce programs and can link business owners with other federal, state, local and nonprofit resources. The effort is designed to cut through red tape and simplify access to services and resources that can help companies grow, create jobs and become more efficient.

Newly cross-trained Commerce staff working in existing local department offices are beginning to assist New York metro area businesses – no matter where they are in their life cycle, whether just getting off the ground or looking to expand into overseas markets – in collaboration with state and local partners.

“We are excited to expand CommerceConnect to cities across the country so we can help even more U.S. businesses grow and create jobs in their communities,” CommerceConnect Executive Director Dennis Alvord said. “We look forward to working with companies in the New York area and leveraging our extensive resources to assist them in reaching their business objectives.”

Trained CommerceConnect specialists can assess clients’ business needs – whether it's access to capital, intellectual property protection, export promotion or guidance on how to make operations more efficient – and refer them to appropriate resources.

“By connecting New York businesses to the wide range of resources available through the Commerce Department and other agencies, CommerceConnect will give businesses the tools they need to create jobs and help New York’s economy grow,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “I look forward to the program’s expansion into New York, and I’m confident that it will go a long way towards making government more flexible and helpful to local businesses.”

Last September, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced the opening of a permanent CommerceConnect office in Pontiac, Mich., after the successful pilot program served more than 90 companies and provided more than 300 referrals to 9 different Commerce bureaus and 13 other Federal, state, local and non-profit partners throughout the region.

Since the launch of the pilot program, the CommerceConnect network has expanded to include not only a Michigan field office but also a growing contingent of cross-trained specialists in U.S. Department of Commerce field offices across the country, as well as a national call center and web portal. In recent weeks, the Commerce Department has announced the expansion of CommerceConnect services into Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver and Seattle, and yesterday announced expansion into the Boston area as well.

New York area businesses interested in working with CommerceConnect specialists can contact the CommerceConnect Call Center at 1-888-728-4190 or visit www.CommerceConnect.gov