Stony Brook University’s College of Business is launching a new workshop series for small business owners across Long Island to assist them in coping with pandemic-related change. Bank of America has stepped in to allow these workshops to be offered at no cost, allowing participants to leave their financial worries at the door.

Local entrepreneurs benefit from online advice.

The workshops are a key part of the Suffolk Forward initiative, a joint partnership between Suffolk County and the College of Business.

Dubbed “Pandemic Shift,” the workshops were developed by the College of Business and the Shift Group, an educational business with roots in Suffolk County. Pandemic Shift is designed to help small businesses facing coronavirus-related disruptions learn to adapt to new challenges. Built with a valuable peer-to-peer learning component, which proved effective in helping small businesses recover after the financial crisis in 2008, Pandemic Shift creates small solution teams for each participant during the workshop’s four 90-minute virtual sessions, all of which take place on Zoom.

Highlights of this program will include a workshop focused on partnerships and co-promotional opportunities to help businesses collaborate and assist Chambers to shift their own practices; and a workshop that will spotlight diversity in the business community. Other topics will include attention-grabbing and expansive promotional ideas and business development.

“We are grateful that Bank of America has stepped in to help Main Street businesses in Suffolk County forge a positive way forward during this challenging time,” said Dean Manuel London of the College of Business. “We were impressed with the outcome of the Pandemic Shift pilot in June, which created solutions, introduced participants to our faculty, who advised in their areas of expertise, and connected participants with students in both business and engineering to help with technology and other topics. This is another example of how Stony Brook University collaborates with and provides assistance to the business community.”

“As we begin to see a second spike in cases and the potential for new restrictions, these pandemic shift workshops will provide our main street businesses with the expert advice and tools they need to remain successful,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “I thank Stony Brook University and Bank of America for their ongoing support that will help struggling businesses navigate this changing business climate.”

Pandemic Shift is now seeking business owners to participate. As business leaders are diverse on Long Island, the program is looking to have specific workshops geared toward minority businesses expressly aimed at both Hispanic and African American businesses. The first workshops are underway, and the next four-week workshop is scheduled to start December 14. The Suffolk County Women’s Business Enterprise Coalition (SCWBEC) will co-promote a program in January, and six additional workshops will follow. Apply at

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