Small Business Task Force Tackles Character

SBTF Pic
Rita DiStefano moderates the panel at HIA-LI’s November 1 Small Business Task Force Open Forum.

There were some important take-aways from last week’s Small Business Task Force Open Forum, “Hitting the Mark: Character, Competence, and Chemistry that Create Effective Culture.”

  • First, these forums are critical to educating small and mid-sized business owners – who account for 80 percent of HIA-LI members – with best practices from other companies and organizations who have gone through the growing pains that they are likely going through.
  • Second, before anything else, character is critical. You want to surround yourself with employees who have the values, work ethic, and dedication needed for success.
  • Third, when interviewing potential employees, ask questions that help bring out character. Questions such as: Where have you volunteered?  What is your life mantra?

My sincere thanks to Task Force Chair Rita DiStefano, Director of Human Resource Consulting for Portnoy, Messinger, Pearl & Associates, for another successful and well-attended forum, which was held at Simplay Entertainment.  Rita, along with Task Force members Sue Gubing, Joe Garofalo, Allan Lippolis, Elana Zolfo, and AnnMarie Scheidt put together a sterling lineup of panelists:

Because small businesses don’t often have the bandwidth and staff found at larger organizations, HIA-LI’s Small Business Task Force was created to boost engagement with Long Island’s small business community.  It does that by listening to their needs and addressing issues with concrete, proven solutions.

Since its inception the Task Force has identified three major areas that small businesses find challenging:

  1. Personnel: Finding, training, and retaining talented employees.
  2. Business Development: Creating new and innovative revenue streams.
  3. Financing: Gaining access to capital in order to have adequate funds to grow.

To address these concerns, the Small Business Task Force began holding Open Forums with the goal of providing continuous support and information for members. Previous topics have covered how to attract and retain the millennial workforce, how to create a positive and attractive work culture, how to be a leader, and more.  The Task Force will continue to support businesses, address their concerns, and find solutions.

Welcome to my Blog!

bizgrowshere2Hello, and welcome to the inaugural post of my new blog!

This blog is aimed at serving as a resource for the Long Island business community. It’s a place for dialog – and a place to explore new ways to promote economic growth and business expansion.

I want it to be a dynamic platform for sharing ideas, information, and strategies for business success and for economic development across Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Along with our Island-wide interests, we’ll also be focusing attention on the Hauppauge Industrial Park, America’s second-largest business park and a vibrant economic engine for Long Island and the nation.

As many of you know, HIA-LI proudly stands as one of the most recognized voices for Long Island business. For four decades we’ve been a powerful advocate for regional development. We boost economic expansion by providing lively forums for business leaders to network, tackle problems, and gain guidance on critical issues facing their enterprises.

One of HIA-LI’s guiding principles is to remember that we are all in this together. This is a group effort, right down the line.

And considering the many challenges regional business executives face today, we’ll need to put all of our heads together to overcome them.

How do we retain younger residents – keep government responsive to business concerns — promote sustainability — train our workforce – maintain our digital edge –– and address other challenges?

Through dialog and discussion, and by tapping everyone’s best ideas, we’ll be in the best-possible position to come up with answers – and to secure a healthy, long-term future for Long Island – and for the Hauppauge Industrial Park, too.

This blog is devoted to dialog, interaction, debate, and discussion. This is a two-way vehicle, and we’ll be looking to you for your comments and feedback – for your input and ideas.

Paraphrasing a John Lennon lyric, “There’s no problems, only solutions.”

So let’s come together — and leverage this blog as a tool for identifying effective solutions to our business challenges!