NYC small business services adds e-licensing

New York City’s Department of Small Business Services (SBS) will now be able to offer more online processing for business licensing and certification applications. The agency receives more than 1,200 applications each year for minority- and women-owned businesses across the city and will be working with Accela Automation software to provide a faster an easier online process.

Accela Automation is an enterprise application that automates forms management, activity tracking, cashiering, and moves traditional counter services online. Users are able to create unlimited types of licenses based on their unique regulations, requirements, and internal procedures.

As part of the mayor’s initiative to take more city government services online and make it easier to create and do business in New York City, the Department of Small Business Services has been looking at ways to improve their business application, licensing and permitting processes. Accela Automation will link to NYC Business Express, allowing businesses to begin their applications on-line and check the status of their applications anytime.

The project took six months to deploy and has been online for nearly three weeks. The city worked with Accela through a shared cost model that utilized city funds as well as investment from the company itself. Department officials also had an active role in project management in-house decreasing the cost impact of the project on city and Department funds overall.

The city hopes that providing this service will cut down on the time it takes for businesses to complete their applications with the city. So far despite staffing cuts in the Department, city workers have been able to continue processing applications without increasing their backlog.

“The new system will help us automate many formerly labor-intensive, paper-based processes, which will free up valuable staff resources,” said Gregg Bishop, New York City Assistant Commissioner, Certification and Buyer Services.

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