Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Small Business Success Story - Blue Sky Landscaping Services

Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways.  This Success Story from the  Queens-York SBDC  appears in our 2015 Annual Report


Joanne McNeil
Blue Sky Landscaping Services
Queens-York SBDC


Blue Sky Landscaping Services, Inc. was started in March 1998 to provide landscape design, installation and maintenance. The woman-owned small business located in Howard Beach in Queens, was forced to close in October 2012 when Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New York City and devastated the business and the neighborhood. In November 2012, Joanne initially talked to York SBDC Advisor Brian Yeung at the Disaster Relief for Small Business Forum held at the Resorts World Casino. More than anything else, Joanne McNeil, Blue Sky’s owner, needed financial assistance to reopen her business, and she was seeking funds for renovation, equipment, and working capital. 

The hurricane had destroyed the business physically and economically. Over the subsequent months, Brian worked with Joanne to assemble the documentation for disaster loan and grant applications. Ultimately the SBDC was able to help Joanne get a disaster loan from SBA and a NYS Sandy grant and loan from NYBDC, which gave her the working capital she needed to get the business started again. With the disaster funding, the business was able to re-open and provide its full range of services. Joanne also was able to add green and organic services to her business. She created 2 new jobs and saved 6. Blue Sky is proud to be a member of the Nassau Suffolk Landscape Gardeners Association, New York State Landscape and Grounds Association and Cornell University Cooperative Extension. 

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