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Small Business Development Center keen on prospect of S.E.A.P. extension

Small Business Development Center Director Susan McCartney with Assemblymen Bill Conrad (left) and Jon D. Rivera
Thomas O'Neil-White
Small Business Development Center Director Susan McCartney with Assemblymen Bill Conrad (left) and Jon D. Rivera

A bill seeking a two-year extension of the Self-Employment Assistance Program, or S.E.A.P., currently sits on the desk of Governor Andrew Cuomo. The program assists unemployed people who are looking to start their own.

An extension of the program would be exciting news for the Small Business Development Center on the campus of SUNY Buffalo State, said Director Susan McCartney. S.B.D.C. has worked with SEAP participants for the past 25 years.

State Senator Bill Conrad
Thomas O'Neil-White
State Senator Bill Conrad

“We provide them with hours and hours of training, which we have to verify they have participated in further,” she said. “They will engage with an individual business advisor with one to one intensive business counseling. So they get the counseling, they get help with strategic planning. They get help with how to hire employees, how to set up their bank account, what type of bookkeeping system you name it, we are going to make sure they know what they're doing. So this investment made by the State of New York does have a payoff.”

As of April, New York State’s unemployment rate stood at 8.2%.

Emails to the Governor’s Office on whether he’ll sign the bill went unanswered.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.