City Lends Small Businesses a Hand

As the federal government pumps billions in capital into New York's largest banks, the city is taking steps to make sure the little guy has access to financing, too.

Mayor Bloomberg and the city's Department of Small Business Services have announced new partnerships between the five boroughs' chambers of commerce and the city's Business Solution Centers, aimed at connecting small business owners with the right lenders.

Allison Fisichelli is co-owner of Robicelli's Gourmet Market in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, which has been open for about two weeks. She says at first, banks wouldn't give her and her husband a loan to start the business.

FISICHELLI: We had an option, take our money, go leave the city, leave my family, leave the five generations of Fisichellis that were here before. Or we fight for Brooklyn.

REPORTER: Fisichelli says the Brooklyn Business Solution Center eventually helped them with their business plan and financing.

Small business solutions centers around the city also offer help with hiring and training employees, accessing government incentives, and applying for city contracts.