Thursday, October 23, 2014

How to Get Grant Money and Other Benefits for Your Business

NEW YORK CITY — ForStellaService, a local tech company that helps other companies improve customer service, buying a decent coffee machine was the cherry on top of winning a $250,000 grant in 2013.

"It really allowed us to move into a much more comfortable space and get amenities that you think would be standard, but if you are a startup those things are not guaranteed," said Ty McMahan, StellaService's senior director of content.

At the time, the growing company had 20 employees packed into a 1,000-square-foot office in Flatiron. The grant helped facilitate its move to a wide-open space in Lower Manhattan.

StellaService won the grant in the Take the H.E.L.M competition, a New York City Economic Development Corporation initiative that aims to keep Lower Manhattan's economy bubbling.

The sweetener is just a fraction of what's available to small businesses in the form of grants and government contracts. This year, for example, the city'sEDC will give away more than $35 million and Empire State Developmenthas hundreds of millions in funding and loans.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sole Proprietors/Individuals – Health insurance renewal notices

Sole Proprietors/Individuals – Health insurance renewal notices should be arriving by the end of October if your coverage is ending on Dec. 31st. For a Jan. 1, 2015 coverage start date, enroll by Dec. 15,, 2014. Check out the renewal video located at If you are Medicaid eligible or have a qualifying life event (e.g. loss of health coverage), you can still enroll for health insurance in 2014. Small businesses (2-50 employees) can enroll in the Small Business Marketplace for healthcare insurance at any time. Enroll all employees by October 31st for a December 1, 2014 coverage start date. Tax credits of up to 50% are available for firms meeting the qualifying criteria. Contact Marcia Okon at 212-473-7805 or if you have any questions.​

Thursday, October 16, 2014


In 1994 the Federal Reserve increased its discount rate from a then-record low of 3% to 6% – equivalent to a 100% increase in rates – in response to inflation fears. Expectedly, bonds followed suit. According to Morningstar, the total bond market dropped by over 4.5%. Investors, who had been enjoying yields from bonds in excess of 6-7%, got spooked. Between the rising rates and the sell-off in bonds, the stock market went berserk.

So what’s different now?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Need client gifts this holiday season? Try NYC-themed chocolate gifts from 5th Ave. Lindt Chocolate Shops!

Lindt, Master Swiss Chocolatier since 1845, has introduced a line of exclusive, NYC-themed gifts featuring the company’s premium chocolate creations. The Lindt New York City Gift Collection is available only in the Swiss Chocolatier’s two Manhattan locations, 665 & 692 Fifth Ave., respectively. The bags and boxes are priced from $12-$25, feature NYC-inspired package design and are filled with irresistibly smooth LINDOR truffles and exquisite European-style pralines. These gifts aren’t just for tourists, they are ideal for clients and guests within all business sectors – in particular, the hospitality and sales industries.

Sweet Benefits for Business Customers
Both Manhattan Lindt Chocolate Shops are Manhattan Chamber of Commerce members and offer volume discounts to business customers. Visit their member page to get in touch today! 

About Lindt Chocolate Shops
Lindt Chocolate Shops feature a vast array of delicious Lindt chocolate offerings you can’t find anywhere else, from widely-known LINDOR truffles and EXCELLENCE bars to exclusive European Specialties and gift boxes. Lindt Chocolate Shop customers are treated to premium free chocolate samples and shopping assistance by expert Lindt Chocolate Advisors.

The Master Chocolatiers at Lindt have perfected the art of creating the finest chocolate, with great skill and passion. For more than 165 years, they have been developing innovative chocolate recipes with meticulous craftsmanship, resulting in superior tasting premium chocolate.

How it All Began
A few short decades after the founding of Lindt in a tiny confectionary shop in Zurich, Switzerland, Rodolphe Lindt changed the world of chocolate with the invention of the “conch” in 1879. His revolutionary machine and stirring technique allowed Lindt to manufacture chocolate of a wonderfully delicate flavor and melting quality. His melting chocolate soon achieved fame, and contributed significantly to the worldwide reputation of Swiss chocolate.

Lindt & Spr√ľngli is a global leader in the premium chocolate category, offering high-quality products in more than 120 countries. Lindt & Spr√ľngli operates eight production facilities in Europe and the United States — all while continuing to roast their own cacao beans to product chocolate from bean to bar.  Lindt USA operates more than 50 retail stores in the U.S. and maintains wide distribution through extensive retail and wholesale channels.  Customers can order Lindt chocolate any time day or night on

Lindt is the official chocolate sponsor of the MCC Awards Breakfast on November 6, 2014.


Special .NYC Domain Name Offer for MCC Members

Calling All New Yorkers,

By now you've likely heard about the .nyc web addresses, which are fast becoming the hottest internet real estate in Manhattan. With the launch of .nyc, New York made history as one of the first cities in the world to possess its very own top-level domain name. This means that individuals and businesses with a physical address in New York can claim their preferred web address ending in .nyc.

This technological advance in the Internet's domain name system has the potential to change the face of New York City's business community. In keeping with our mission to support entrepreneurs doing business at this exciting time, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Encirca, an accredited site registering the .NYC domain, to offer you .nyc websites at rock-bottom prices.

As detailed in a recent New York Times article, one of the driving reasons to register a .nyc domain name is, simply, to protect your business name and pertinent keywords from competitors, disgruntled customers, and opportunistic cybersquatters. Even if you're not ready to use your .nyc website, registering it today protects you from these and other threats to your online branding.

Registering a .nyc website also establishes your location-based identity to local customers and out-of-town visitors, improving your search engine rankings and helping you stand above the crowd. Retail pricing for .nyc domains ranges from $30 to $50 annually.

For a limited time, you can secure yours for less than $25. Simply send an email to and you will be sent the registration code for your discount.

You can apply for an unlimited number of .nyc domain names for both business and personal use. Availability is first come, first served. All .nyc orders fulfilled via EnCirca include free email and web forwarding to existing websites.

This limited-time offer is one of the many benefits available to members of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. If you are interested in joining our organization, click here to learn more about the benefits of becoming an MCC member. With 10,000 members and subscribers, the MCC serves as a primary resource for small and mid-size firms doing business in Manhattan... (Nancy will re-write this paragraph)

About MCC's Preferred .nyc Registrar

EnCirca, with over a decade of experience in the domain name industry, is a .nyc Domain Name Registrar accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), organization responsible for managing the Internet's global domain name system.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

MCC Member Success Stories: How an MCC Business Referral Group Can Help your Business

By Faith Kinslow, True Identity Branding

Just wanted to tell you that I think so highly of my MCC referral group that I just got my husband to join yesterday. I got my son to join our group a few months ago. My husband, Ed, now occupies the Financial Advisor seat; my son, the Real Estate seat.

It's funny. I joined the group because Ken Sassano invited me, and I think very highly of his professionalism. He talks about the large number of Kinslows in the group — now using his new phrase: the "Kinsli". My husband just coined another term yesterday: "Kinsloi".

Last month I invited an art director whom I met at the Noir & Blanc event this summer to join, and she joined our networking group a few weeks ago. So, BRG 3 is strong and growing.

Each member of our group is invited to give a 10 minute presentation about our business to educate the others. I gave mine yesterday on developing a compelling, strategic message and the importance of articulating a unique selling proposition, and what it is. One of our members emailed me to say she was so impressed with it and my knowledge that she is going to hire me to write her marketing materials! The others in the group told me that the presentation was very helpful.

It's interesting that I joined the group hoping that the members would recommend me to those they know. But, it turned out to be even better. So far, I've done work for 4 members of the group, and they have given excellent reviews of my work to the others in the group. If I am hired by the member who just requested to work with me, that will be 5 from my group who have personally hired me. I don't think you could ask for more from a referral group.

Best regards,

Faith Kinslow, Copywriter/Brand Strategist

True Identity Branding

Know who you are. Say who you are. Mobile: 917-607-3267

MCC Thanks Septembers Renewing Members

Company Name Name Website
Louis August Jonas Foundation Judith Fox
Elle Esse Group Lauren Staff
Hearts of Gold Inc Deborah Koenigsberger
Revolution Rickshaws LLC Gregg Zuman
SUNY New Paltz Jeff Pollard
GCR Inc. Britton Wenzel
CIRE Travel, A Division of Tzell Eric Hrubant
PKF O'Connor Davies Leo Parmegiani
Savoca Enterprises Inc. Sharon Mahin
CLGR Communications Corp. Linda Porto
De Figlio Design Rosemary Figlio
Happy Happy Auto Repair David Tran
Infinite Glass and Metal Inc. Joanne Tierney
Invest Barbados Adrian Sealy