News from Westchester’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Featuring news, entrepreneur profiles, and mentorship and growth opportunities
Westchester County Business FIRST Grant Program:
Application Deadline Extended
The application deadline for the Westchester County Business FIRST Grant Program has been extended to Friday, April 1 at 5 PM.
Westchester County Business FIRST: Financial Investments for Recovery and a Sustainable Tomorrow provides immediate financial relief to nonprofits and religious organizations in Westchester County that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
Qualifying nonprofits and religious organizations can apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $45,000.
Have a Business Idea You Want to Bring to Life?
Apply for Launch1000 Today
Launch1000 has everything you need to start a home-based business in one place. This “idea accelerator” is designed to provide step by step, immersive, action-based learning to de-risk any new business idea before going to market. It works for products, services, social enterprises, non-profits, small local business ideas and large global business ideas.

The program includes four types of activities to help you evaluate your idea: online learning, live workshops, a community forum and working on your idea out in the world. All elements other than the scheduled Live Events, can be completed at times of your own choosing.
The deadline to apply is April 14.
Launch1000 in the News

Last week, Martha Lopez, Westchester County's Director of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development, was interviewed by Univision 41 Nueva York about this year’s Launch1000 program, including the Dual Language Cohort (English/Spanish). You can view the segment here.
Governor Hochul Announces Over $500 Million in Pandemic Relief Distributed to Nearly 29,000 Small Businesses Throughout the State
Governor Kathy Hochul announced nearly 29,000 small and micro businesses throughout New York State have been awarded over $500 million in grant funds through the COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program. The program was created to provide flexible grant assistance to small businesses, micro-businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations in the State of New York who have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funding is still available for the program. One-on-one assistance, webinars, a call center that has already logged nearly 295,000 calls and materials in 14 languages are examples of support available through Empire State Development, to help small businesses access this critical funding.
To learn more about this and other COVID-19 relief programs, visit Empire State Development has a network of partner organizations that provide instruction, training, technical assistance, and support services to entrepreneurs and small businesses statewide that will provide assistance with New York State and federal pandemic relief grant and loan applications. For more information visit
Intro to Launch1000 Infosession (Spanish)

DATE: March 28, 2022
TIME: 1:00 PM
Intro to Launch1000 Infosession

DATE: March 29, 2022
TIME: 10:00 AM
How to Get Business Funding
This webinar from WEDC will help you understand the various options for obtaining financing for your small business.
The discussion will cover: 

  • Why does your business need capital?
  • How much do you need?
  • How will you pay it back?
  • What and how it will be used for?
  • How will it affect your bottom line?
  • Is this a one-time or ongoing need?
DATE: March 29, 2022
TIME: 6:00 PM
Hiring Your First Employee or Contractor in New York State
Has your small business or start-up organization taken off? Are you looking for help to support your work?
As your small business or start-up grows, you must consider several factors as you look to hire a new team member, whether it be obtaining an identification number or creating a fair compensation plan.
Join expert attorneys for a free webinar from WEDC to learn what you should know about hiring your first employee or contractor in New York State
Topics covered:

  • Employer registrations at the state and federal level
  • Deciding on compensation and benefits
  • Interviewing/Hiring: How to conduct a fair and legal employee search
  • New hire documentation
  • Adhering to state and federal labor laws
Register in advance for this webinar! After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
DATE: March 30, 2022
TIME: 6:00 PM
Government Contracting 101 with SCORE and Westchester County
This webinar will help businesses understand all the steps necessary to become a responsible and responsive vendor to the Federal, New York State, and New York City Governments. The webinar will provide businesses with an overview of how to get registered to do business with the government, how to get certified with all levels of government, and how to find government contracting opportunities.
DATE: March 31, 2022
TIME: 7:00 PM
How to Get An Investor to Chase You:
Understanding the Investing Game
Building your business sometimes takes more than just smarts and hard work - it takes money. What do investors look for? Where do I find them? What are the do's and don'ts when approaching investors? What are the upsides and downsides of taking on investment?

In this informative webinar from SCORE, startup investor expert Allen Clary will break down how the investor game is played and won. Allen has directly helped dozens of startups raise capital at all levels, from small five figure checks to seven figure checks.

In this webinar, you'll learn about:

  • The different types of investors - and which type you need
  • Where to find the right investors - and how to talk to them
  • What investors look for and what are their turn-ons and turn-offs
  • Strategy to get an investor to chase you, instead of you chasing them
  • The most common 'tipping point' to get an investor to write a check

DATE: April 5, 2022
TIME: 1:00 PM
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