White Plains Business Owners Will Share Success Tips

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Jaleene and Jewelle Rodriguez, co-owners of Don Coqui restaurants, will speak at the seminar.
Jaleene and Jewelle Rodriguez, co-owners of Don Coqui restaurants, will speak at the seminar. Photo Credit: Contributed
Erwin Gilliam, owner of Erwin’s Barber Shop on Martin Luther King Boulevard will share his story and provide tips at the seminar.
Erwin Gilliam, owner of Erwin’s Barber Shop on Martin Luther King Boulevard will share his story and provide tips at the seminar. Photo Credit: Contributed

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino invites business owners to attend a free seminar titled "A Bridge to Success: How to Secure Customers, Contracts and Capital" on Tuesday, July 29. 

The seminar will be held at the White Plains Library, 100 Martine Ave., at 5:30 p.m.

The event, part of a regular series sponsored by Astorino, is geared toward minority and women entrepreneurs who are looking to contract with government, gain access to low-cost financing or cut their employee training costs in half.

“Westchester County government is here to help businesses grow and create jobs for our residents,” said Astorino. “These seminars are a way to put tools and resources in the hands of our small-business owners and job creators.”

Local business owners and experts will share their best tips and strategies on success.

Jaleene and Jewelle Rodriguez, co-owners of Don Coqui restaurants including a location on Mamaroneck Avenue, will speak about the importance of building community support, developing a business culture and using social media to attract customers.

Erwin Gilliam, owner of Erwin’s Barber Shop on Martin Luther King Boulevard, will talk about how he worked two jobs to save the money to open his own shop 15 years ago and how he now employs seven barbers.

Gilliam gives back to the community by providing complimentary haircuts and words of encouragement to residents of the Open Arms Men’s Shelter when they are preparing for job interviews.

A second seminar will be held Monday, Aug. 11, at 9:30 a.m. at the Yonkers Riverfront Library, 1 Larkin Plaza.

Admission is free, and refreshments will be provided.

For more information or to RSVP, call 914-384-1895 or email Abridgetoabridge@gmail.com.

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But, with all respect, why do race, ethnicity, and sex need to be considered at all in deciding who gets awarded a contract? It's good to make sure contracting programs are open to all, that bidding opportunities are widely publicized beforehand, and that no one gets discriminated against because of skin color, national origin, or sex. But that means no preferences because of skin color, etc. either--whether it's labeled a "set-aside," a "quota," or a "goal," since they all end up amounting to the same thing. Such discrimination is unfair and divisive; it breeds corruption and otherwise costs the taxpayers and businesses money to award a contract to someone other than the lowest bidder; and it's almost always illegal—indeed, unconstitutional—to boot (see 42 U.S.C. section 1981 and this model brief: http://www.pacificlegal.org/document.doc?id=454 ). Those who insist on engaging in such discrimination deserve to be sued, and they will lose.