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Business Seminar Helps White Plains Woman Launching Dating Site

Chanelle Hyde attends the Bridges to Success minority and small business seminar at the White Plains Library Tuesday. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Janelle (left) and Jewelle Rodriguez (right) talk about their business, Don Coqui. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Janelle handles daytime operations and Jewelle handles nightime operations at all of their Don Coqui locations. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Don Coque has locations in New Rochelle and White Plains. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Erwin Gilliam, owner of Erwin’s Barber Shop on Martin Luther King Blvd. in White Plains. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
The Bridges to Success minority and women-owned small business seminar drew 75 businesses Tuesday. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Chanelle Hyde plans to certify her new small business with Westchester County after learning how easy the process is at a county-sponsored seminar.

Held Tuesday night at the White Plains Library, the seminar connected minority and women-owned businesses with local resources.

Hyde, who recently moved from New Rochelle to White Plains, is launching a dating website that she says ensures its users – singles in the Tri-State Area  – will find a compatible match. The site launches Aug. 18, after about one year in development.

With her business’ launch date approaching, Hyde attended Bridges to Success, along with 75 other business owners. By getting certified with the state, her business could get contracts and do business with the county.

"To have something beneficial at a local level is really what we’re looking for since our services benefits the New York Tri-State," she said.

The seminar is the fourth of five being held in Westchester’s urban centers, said Richard St. Paul, who runs a law practice and emceed the event. Previously, 90 attended in New Rochelle, 50 in Mount Vernon and 40 in Peekskill.

“Really this is an introduction to starting your business, growing your business and doing business,” he said. “This is kind of the intro course.”

The final seminar is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Aug. 11 at at the Yonkers Riverfront Library, 1 Larkin Plaza.

St. Paul told people about a county program whereby employers can get up to $20,000 to train their employees if they hire local workers.

Prospective business owner Rosemarie Cobuzzi of Pleasantville said she wanted to find out how to get her name out in the media without paying an arm and a leg. She got her answer from communications specialist Britta Vander Linden, who told everyone how to attract media attention.

“The bottom line is you need to get the contacts and find that person right away,” Cobuzzi said.

Don Coqui owners and operators Jaleene Rodriguez and her sister, Jewelle, were the keynote speakers at the event. Jaleene said they build their brand through social media instead of print advertising, because it is so expensive.

In addition to new business owners, the seminar attracted Scarsdale’s Lisa Tretler and Jane Veron, who co-founded The Accelerator Project. It also connects local small businesses with resources. Specifically, they deploy professionals to these businesses to offer strategic and tactical advice.

“The more that we know about all the great services in our community the more we can help our clients,” Tretler said.

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