“Our Small Business program will support entrepreneurs from the very beginning, from creating a business name to understanding small business resource options and more. We will use our resources and connections to help them develop their business. We offer personalized, free small business support you won’t get anywhere else. We’re here to help you build long-term wealth” – Sharon Fortis, Small Business Program Manager

We’re most well-known for our free tax preparation and financial counseling for individuals. But this Small Business Month, we’re excited to announce that we’ve expanded our services with our new Small Business Program! We spoke with Sharon Fortis, Small Business Program Manager, to share more about what makes this opportunity special for business owners in The Bronx:

As an entrepreneur herself, Sharon has over five years of experience in tax preparation and financial counseling working for community organizations such as BronxWorks and the Financial Empowerment Center. Her passion to support individuals in maximizing their tax refunds and creating healthy relationships with money aligns with our mission. Along with her expertise in managing tax sites and financial counseling, we knew Sharon would be a perfect fit to join the Ariva Team! We’re eager to have Sharon lead this exciting new program. 

“The Small Business Program’s purpose is to serve existing and prospective small businesses, including self-employed individuals, with guidance and resources on developing their business. We’re here to support Bronx-based entrepreneurs,” says Sharon.  

Our Small Business Program is designed to help you sustain your operations on a day-to-day basis and keep your business growing for the long haul. 

It doesn’t matter whether your business has been open for two days or ten years—all entrepreneurs can benefit from our program. Even if you are self-employed, working as an independent contractor, or exclusively earning in cash, we provide resources to meet your unique needs. Our eligibility requirements include that for new businesses, the owners’ income needs to be at or below 125% of the federal poverty level. For existing businesses, the gross profit is no more than $1,000,000 with no more than ten employees. 

Our Small Business Program can help you with the following: 

  • Determining business structure 
  • Creating an entity for your business 
  • Applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for tax filing purposes
  • Understanding business financing and capital options
  • One-on-one business consultations
  • Educational workshops 

If you’ve ever wanted to start a business or lacked resources to help your existing business grow, this program is for you. 

“We offer personalized, free small business support you won’t get anywhere else. We’re here to help you build long-term wealth,” Sharon says. 

Build a Clear, Concise Business Model 

As an entrepreneur, you need a strong business plan to stay on track, as well as the ability to adjust an existing model based on how the business performs, changes its audience, or current sales. Through this program, you will develop and complete a business plan outlining a path to achieve your goals, earn revenue, and plan for scalable growth.

“One of our goals is to increase income for entrepreneurs in the community. One of the program’s key outcomes is to grow small business owners’ revenue so that our clients can expand their team and hire people, preferably from the neighborhood,” Sharon shares. 

Get Access To Capital 

Having enough capital to cover the expenses of running your business is essential. While we are not lenders, we can point you to trusted resources to get the capital you need by helping you obtain information on grants or loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA), understand the requirements financial institutions have to provide business loans, and receive startup benefits packages to offer health insurance to your employees. These resources can improve the quality of life for you and your team, and support your business running smoothly. 

Build Entrepreneurial Skills 

We offer to help you reach your unique goals, we offer various educational workshops to build your skills as a business owner. This program is an excellent opportunity to become a well-rounded entrepreneur prepared for your business’s success! 

“Our program helps small businesses get the support they need for free,” Sharon says.   Ready to enroll in our Small Business Program? We offer in-person support at our West Farms location. Call 718-618-4589 or fill out this quick form to make your appointment today.