Where is your office located?
All appointments and events are currently being held virtually until further notice.
The Columbia-Harlem SBDC is located in David Geffen Hall. You may find the main entrance at 645 W. 130th Street between Broadway and 12th Avenue. All visitors must be registered prior to accessing the center by center's staff. Please stop at the front desk for check in and proceed on the elevator to the 2nd floor during business hours. We can also be reached via telephone at 212-853-7416.
How do I get there by public transportation?
To arrive at David Geffen Hall, take the 1 train to 125th Street and Broadway. Note that the 2 and 3 express trains do not stop at Columbia. The campus is also served by the following bus lines: M4, M5, M11, M60, M104.
What are the days and times available for an appointment?
All of our appointments are scheduled Monday through Thursday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
How long is the initial appointment with my advisor?
Initial appointments are always scheduled for an hour and a half. Whether or not the meeting actually lasts that long depends on the type of business and the nature of the assistance requested.
What is the typical waiting time for an appointment?
Once we receive your initial Request for Counseling, you can usually expect to have an appointment within two to three weeks. This time tends to vary depending on the month as well as on the prior commitments of our advisors.
Can appointments be conducted over the phone/e-mail?
I live in _______. Can I still come to your center?
Our direct service area is Upper Manhattan. If capacity allows, we can support businesses throughout New York State. To find the center closest to you go to https://americassbdc.org/find-your-sbdc/.
Do I have to be in business to meet with an advisor?
Not necessarily, though we do request that you demonstrate a certain degree of preparation beforehand. This may be in the form of a business plan, prior industry knowledge, certifications, previous entrepreneurial experience, a minimum viable product, etc.
Does your center offer legal services?
At this time our center is unable to offer legal advice. We do, however, have strong partnerships with legal service providers.
Can your center help my non-profit?
Due to the constitution of our center, we are only able to assist for-profit ventures. For comparable assistance for non-profits, we usually recommend reaching out to either the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, Inc. or the Community Resource Exchange.
Do you offer counseling in Spanish?
Yes, we do. Please request this in your initial inquiry to our center.
I am trying to start a(n) _______ business and need an expert in _______. Can your center help?
Our business advisors have wide ranges of experience and will be able to help with the vast majority of your needs and concerns. If, however, you require an expert in a particular industry (ex. mechanics, information technology, food chemistry, etc.), they can attempt to pair you with a partner we've worked with in the past or request relevant information for you through our Research Network.