6 Finance Resources for Hudson Valley Small Businesses
It has taken me three years to perfect my Saturday morning pancake recipe. “But Ashleigh, pancakes are so simple,” you might say, and you would be mostly correct. My one small quibble is that pancakes are simple, but unless you have a griddle to make them at scale, they are not particularly quick. Enter this absurdly easy sheet pan pancake that tastes like a heavenly cross between a traditional pancake and cornbread. There is no flipping involved, and it is gloriously easy to halve the recipe to feed two adults and one toddler.
Why am I waxing poetic about pancakes in an article about finance tips for small businesses in the Hudson Valley? Because what works for a short-order diner cook does not work for my tiny kitchen and toddler-taxed parental attention span. The same is true for the litany of books, articles, emails, and podcasts out there from founders of giant companies who are touting the universal keys to financial success as if they can be applied to the smallest of businesses without the same access to resources or—you guessed it—scale.
I had a conversation recently with Chronogram Media’s CEO and co-founder, Amara Projansky, about how small businesses in the economic microclimate that is the Hudson Valley have to be equally critical and creative when it comes to charting a path to success. Small Business Financial Management Kit for Dummies has a lot of great foundational info, but it doesn’t necessarily provide a foolproof method for forecasting in a highly seasonal market like ours.
Tell Us What You Want More Of!
To that end, we are looking at expanding our coverage of the small business community in our region. Think articles, ideas, and stories on the topics of finance, tech, human resources, legal, and more—all geared toward providing practical and locally based advice.
If this is something you’d like to see more of, let us know! We’ve put together a quick five-minute survey that asks about your needs as a small businessperson, and what content you’d like to see more of. (There’s also a chance to be interviewed for a Chronogram story about the state of small business in our region, so head to the survey too if you’d like to be a part of that.)
In the meantime, here’s a round-up of six financial resources for small businesses in the Hudson Valley. The list is a mix of on-demand training and upcoming local events in the money matters sphere from real small business owners and finance experts in our region.
6 Hudson Valley Finance Resources to Know
Ulster Savings Bank
With almost 200 years of serving banking clients in Ulster County and the wider Hudson Valley, it makes sense that Ulster Savings Bank would have resources geared toward the many small business owners in our region.
Its robust online Financial Education Center includes a training path for Growing Your Small Business, which is a great place for any aspiring or new small business owner to gain financial literacy for their business. Advice includes how to make a business more appealing to investors and opportunities for women- and minority-owned businesses.
Local Investment 101 with Michael H. Shuman
On February 8, 15, and 24, Michael H. Shuman, economist, attorney, Bard College instructor, and author of 10 books, including the recently published Put Your Money Where Your Life Is, will be leading a Local Investment 101 workshop at Seasoned Gives in Kingston. In addition to personal investments, the multi-part workshop will cover strategies for businesses looking for sources of capital locally.
Hudson Valley Women in Business
Lauree Ostrofsky founded Hudson Valley Women in Business (HVWiB) in 2014 as a welcoming space for seasoned and aspiring business owners, and all women and people of gender minorities, inclusive of race, class, and ability, to lean on and learn from one another. In addition to its regular coffee meetups, the membership organization has hosted financial and small business workshops. Join HVWiB on February 13 for a Galentine’s Speed Networking Extravaganza at Ruby Restaurant and Bar in New Paltz and discover a new business collaborator, mentor, or partner.
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Ulster County Office of Economic Development
In its goal to promote Ulster County as a premier location to expand and grow business, the Ulster County Office of Economic Development (UCEDA) provides financial support, marketing, facilitation of capacity building and infrastructure programs, and collaboration with community, regional, state, and municipal partners and leaders.
UCEDA’s website is a treasure trove of financial resources for small business owners. Discover an Ulster County business association near you, learn about financing programs available to Ulster County businesses, and links to free business financial counseling from multiple area organizations.
SCORE Mid-Hudson Valley
Founded in 1964, SCORE Mid-Hudson Valley offers free mentorship sessions for business owners online or at its two locations in Dutchess County where counselors can meet in-person to help evaluate a business idea or plan, stimulate business growth, and ensure long-term stability. Check out the upcoming online workshops such “How to Start Your Online Business for Next to No Money,” which dives into practical and cost-effective strategies for starting your business website.