City Launches Training Program for Digital Platforms for Small Businesses

Image Credit: Small Business Services

A new training recourse is available to small businesses and their employees and offers free classes on digital platforms like Zoom, Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and more. On February 4, 2021, Major Bill De Blasio and NYC Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Jonnel Doris announced the launch of “Training for Your Employees.” The program provides business owners and their employees with no-cost training courses in digital literacy, marketing tools, online security, and COVID-19 safety.

The program is a response to the digital transformation small businesses have been faced with because of the coronavirus pandemic. The “Training for Your Employees” program will be taught virtually with a live instructor. The live instruction is provided by Lehman College’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. The program will provide small business owners and employees with the following training courses:

Digital Skills, Communications/Marketing, and Online Security:

  • Computer Basics
  • Cloud Storage: Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive
  • Mac Basics
  • Zoom Essentials** ^
  • Scheduling and Managing Zoom Meetings (for Hosts) ** ^
  • Communication: Google Meet and Gmail**^
  • Shared Cloud Storage: Google Drive**^
  • Document Creation: Google Docs, Sheets, Slides** ^
  • Data Collection, Surveys and Analysis: Google Forms** ^
  • Education: Google Classroom
  • Introduction to Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft Office 365 Basics
  • Microsoft Word 365: Part 1 & Part 2
  • Microsoft Excel 365: Part 1 & Part 2
  • Microsoft Outlook 365: Part 1 & Part 2
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 365
  • Microsoft Access- Desktop
  • QuickBooks
  • Payroll Fundamentals
  • Building an Online Presence
  • Create Your Own Website
  • Finding New Customers Online
  • Selling Your Product Online

COVID-19 Safety Training:

  • Health and hygiene in a pandemic**
  • COVID safety for food and beverage businesses**
  • COVID safety for retail**

**Courses are also available in Spanish.

^ Courses are also available in Chinese (Mandarin).

Council Member Mark Gjonaj, Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Small Business, stated, “The ‘Training for your Employees’ program will help local businesses adapt to an increasingly digital business world…[b]y empowering owners and employees with COVID-19 awareness, online business, cybersecurity and marketing tools, we are giving NYC’s small businesses a fighting chance to thrive in an ever changing landscape.”

Speaking about the program, the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity Executive Director, Matthew Klein stated, “The COVID-19 pandemic has produced an urgent need to help struggling workers and small businesses adapt through this difficult time and beyond…We are pleased to partner with Small Business Services and build on our track record of successful workforce development programs to provide free training to employees to get vital digital skills that will help them in their careers, and also help their businesses meet pressing needs.”

The President of Lehman College, Dr. Daniel Lemons, said, “I’m excited Lehman’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies will be able to offer this free program to give our small businesses and their employees the opportunity to learn new technology skills for their future success.”

Businesses can access the “Training for Your Employees” eligibility criteria and apply for the program at

By: Sarah Cobble (Sarah is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)


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