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Robert Walsh


Image of Robert Walsh

Robert W. Walsh was appointed Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) by Mayor Bloomberg in January 2002. During his tenure, he has reshaped the Agency to directly focus on and respond to the needs of the city's nearly 200,000 small businesses--the first time that a city agency has been completely dedicated to this goal. In doing so, SBS has invigorated the city's 64 business improvement districts - the largest network of BIDs in the country -- which deliver nearly $100 million in supplemental services for the direct benefit of more than 16,000 retail businesses. He has also enhanced the delivery of technical assistance and incentives to NYC's small businesses through NYC Business Solutions and energized the city's promotion and support of minority- and women-owned businesses.  In June 2003, Mayor Bloomberg merged the city's adult workforce programs with SBS.  Since then, Rob has led the effort to use workforce development as a tool for economic development, transforming a system that placed New Yorkers in 500 jobs a year into one that places New Yorkers in more than 31,000 jobs a year. Prior to his appointment, Rob spent five years in North Carolina as President of Charlotte Center City Partners, an organization dedicated to improving and growing Charlotte's central business district. From 1989 to April 1997, he led the Union Square Partnership, where he played a key role in the neighborhood's revitalization. During the 1980's, he worked in the administration of Mayor Edward I. Koch. He began his career in public service as a New York City Urban Fellow, a program he later directed. Commissioner Walsh holds a bachelor's degree and a Masters degree from Fordham University. (Bio provided by SBS.)

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Articles, Investigations and Blogs

The city's commissioner of small business services says New York's efforts to bolster Business Improvement Districts will help to preserve the mom-and-pop character of neighborhood retail.