Bill Baker’s, a veteran-owned restaurant and bar on the corner of Grand Street and Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg, was welcomed to the neighborhood with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony held on Wednesday, August 5.
Bill Baker’s opened its doors on July 9 as the 3,000th new business to take advantage of the New York City Department of Small Business Services’ Business Acceleration Program. The program aids small businesses by guiding them through government licensing, permitting and compliance, and providing support, should any problems arise in the process. Also aiding in the effort were the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, among others.
“The entire staff of Bill Baker’s is happy to join the creative spirit of how business is done in Williamsburg and Brooklyn,” said owner Martin Randisi. “As a Vietnam veteran, I was greatly helped by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, SBS and the various city agencies. It would be almost impossible for a layperson to open a restaurant without the tools and guides from the SBS website.”
“Helping small businesses succeed is not only necessary, it’s part of the core mission we have, which is to help small businesses open, grow, get financing and expand,” said Carlo Scissura, the chamber’s president and CEO. “One of the most common challenge small business owners face is really understanding all of the different opportunities and available support mechanisms that are offered to them.”
A key aid was a loan granted to Bill Baker’s through the Brooklyn Fund, due to assistance from NYC Business Solutions, the Brooklyn Chamber and the New York Business Development Corporation, providing funding for veterans and immigrants who are looking to open a business. This allowed the restaurant to open approximately 60 days faster and create 15 new jobs.
“Brooklyn is the hottest place to open a business in the world. It’s the people, the creativity, the buzz, the action,” said Scissura. “There’s 2.6 million people and they’re all spending money.”
Bill Baker’s is located at 364 Grand Street and boasts 20 microbrew beers on tap, a locally sourced menu, and a casual, neighborhood atmosphere. More information can be found at www.billbakers.com.