In the current economic climate, communities across America are working to figure out how best to support their small businesses. Meanwhile, here in New York City, the borough of Brooklyn is embracing innovation and technology as key drivers of small business growth. It helps to have strong government leadership and encouragement for these programs and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz has been a staunch advocate for small businesses taking advantage of modern technology. Yesterday morning he hosted a Business Improvement Breakfast at Borough Hall that we attended, with our founder serving as a panelist.

The breakfast, also sponsored by the NYC Department of Small Business Services, NYC Digital, and Brooklyn Magazine, was extremely well-attended by local business owners and neighborhood leaders, including a number of representatives from various Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) around Brooklyn. After some introductory speeches, the panel, which also included the founders of LocalBonus, Red Antler, and Smallknot got to work answering questions about how technology can best benefit small businesses.

Each panelist brought a different aspect of small business expertise to the table, but the unifying theme throughout the discussion was the opportunity for technology to assist small businesses both in getting started and growing their business. Whether that means taking advantage of every panelist and using Smallknot for funding, Red Antler for branding, ShopKeep POS for a POS system, and LocalBonus for loyalty or working with BIDs to pick and choose the services that are the best fit, the most important thing for small business owners is to understand the wealth of resources at their disposal.

We were very excited to meet all of the attendees and be a part of this event and we’re looking forward to attending other events like it in the future. In the meantime, if you have any stories about how small businesses effectively use technology in your community or if you have suggestions for events we should be a part of, leave a comment because we’d love to hear about them!

UPDATE (1/25/13): For everyone who couldn’t make it out (or for anyone who wants to re-live the good times and maybe take better notes this time), Land Grant has posted a video of the entire panel discussion!

Richard Berger translates his years of experience in the startup & small business world into helpful advice for small business owners. As Director of Product Marketing at ShopKeep point of sale, Richard has an unmatched understanding of POS system technology, and how it can be used to transform your business.