Our Clients In The News

June 2017 Newsletter: Join our CXJM training | Small Business Supports | Summer Happenings

Want to learn how Customer Journey Mapping can enhance your programs? Sign up for our training.

On June 22, we’re partnering with the Workforce Professionals Training Institute for a half-day skills-building workshop on Customer Journey Mapping. Journey Mapping is a technique for understanding how clients move through your services, and a great way to identify opportunities to enhance services in ways that address client needs. During this training, workforce practitioners will learn how to problem-solve in real time based on customer feedback on what’s working well and where pain points exist. We will share tools and resources to help your team redesign current services or design new ones through the journey mapping practice. Learn more and register today.

We’re helping design supports for business growth:

Last year, we supported the NYC Department of Small Business Services’ Small Business First Initiative to help streamline the way the City interacts with business owners. A large component of our work focused on designing programs and resources that more clearly communicate rules, and regulations and help business owners avoid common violations. Check out these supports now available:

  • Compliance Consultations: business owners can schedule a free site visit with an SBS Adviser to learn how to comply with City rules and subsequently avoid fines. According to reports from ABC 7, fines are down 40%!
  • Sidewalk Usage Guide: SBS offers many regulation- and industry-specific guides to educate business owners. We collaborated on their new Sidewalk Usage Guide, which breakdowns how the sidewalk in front of a storefront can and cannot be used. Trust us, you’ll never look at a sidewalk café quite the same way once you know what it took to get it there.

This summer, our team is growing:

Please join us in welcoming Favio Germán as Public Works’ new Project Coordinator. Favio is a graduate student at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service focusing on Nonprofit Management. Previously, he served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay, where he facilitated the creation and development of community groups, and trained incoming volunteers as well as Paraguayan Government officials on community development, project management, and experiential training models. We know Favio’s passion for supporting community based organizations and extensive experience in stakeholder engagement and performance measurement will make him a tremendous addition to our team.

Clients in the news:

  • A Goodwill Outlet, located in a warehouse in Long Island City, was recently profiled in the New York Times for inspiring a sub-sector of competitive shopping and re-sale. With clothing sold in bulk and below Goodwill’s usual, already-discounted prices, shoppers – from fashion bloggers to new immigrants – gather daily to race for new items.
  • In May, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund hosted its annual Bank On conference in Washington D.C. Among the day’s discussion topics, CFE Fund announced a new data portal pilot to collect information about certified accounts across the country, offered insights from the Summer Jobs Connect program informed by our research, and introduced new Bank On resources.

Walk A Mile In A Business Owner’s Shoes

As a small business ourselves, we understand the power of well-designed support for business growth. Last year, we supported the NYC Department of Small Business Services’ Small Business First Initiative to help streamline the way the City interacts with business owners. A large component of our work focused on designing programs and resources that more clearly communicate rules and regulations and help business owners avoid common violations. Check out these supports now available:

  • Compliance Consultations: business owners can schedule a free site visit with an SBS Adviser to learn how to comply with City rules and subsequently avoid fines, particularly when just starting out and being exposed to a wide array of requirements for the first time. According to reports from ABC 7, fines are down 40%!
  • Sidewalk Usage Guide: SBS offers many regulation- and industry-specific guides to educate business owners. We collaborated on their new Sidewalk Usage Guide, which covers everything from advertising to selling goods, repairs to serving food. Call us biased, but we think it’s a great breakdown of how the sidewalk in front of a storefront can and cannot be used. Trust us, you’ll never look at a sidewalk café quite the same way once you know what it took to get it there.

Local Business Engagement with a Purpose – Creating Actionable, Sustainable Development Plans

Last week, our client the Long Island City Partnership released the first phase of the first-ever Long Island City Comprehensive Plan. This report presents findings from a wide-ranging research effort, and recommends strategies for guiding LIC’s development to not only preserve but also capitalize on the neighborhood’s diverse mix of uses. We developed and analyzed core components of the research supporting the report, in particular by engaging local businesses. Through a survey and series of supplemental focus groups and interviews, we supported LICP to understand how businesses currently operate. Our research illuminated the central challenges of a variety of local stakeholders, and shaped LICP’s thinking on how to support the businesses, cultural institutions, and community organizations that make up this changing neighborhood.

licstudyarea-2016-12-01As we reflected on our work with LICP, we got to thinking about planning for change in all New York City neighborhoods – the ever-evolving metropolis where we live and work. We are big believers in the power of collaborative, community processes to create development plans that are actionable, sustainable over time, and make sense for the communities in which they are created. In particular, when it comes to making smart decisions about economic development interventions, the on-the-ground insights of businesses are essential to fostering a vibrant economic ecosystem. For instance, we knew that LIC was a dynamic, thriving community – with rapidly expanding residential units – but we couldn’t be sure its businesses were planning on staying in the area. Our business survey confirmed that 70% of businesses are, and that 87% anticipate growing while they do. We could then delve into their needs through focus groups and conversations to determine which policies will support growth and create a plan tailored for LIC businesses.

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