Assemblyman Steve Otis and Women’s Enterprise Development Center to Host Small Business Forum on E-Commerce

Annual conference will focus on helping small businesses tap the internet to expand their business

Today’s consumers are increasingly technologically savvy, with nearly 70 percent of all adults in the United States owning a smartphone, according to a recent study by Pew Internet Research. With more and more consumers embracing new technologies, e-commerce and the internet have dramatically changed the way customers shop and interact with businesses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce sales for the second quarter of 2016 totaled $97.3 billion, a nearly 16 percent jump from the same period last year. Now, more than ever, small businesses must evolve to changing consumer behavior.

To help small business owners navigate the online marketplace with e-commerce tools that can expand their businesses, Assemblyman Steve Otis (D-Rye) and the Women’s Enterprise Development Center Inc. (WEDC) are pleased to announce that their annual Small Business & Economic Development Forum will focus this year on the subject of e-commerce. The forum will be held on Thursday, October 20, 2016, from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m., at the Larchmont Village Center, 119 Larchmont Avenue, Larchmont.

The forum will feature industry expert, Jennifer Shaheen, President of the Technology Therapy Group. Ms. Shaheen will highlight key aspects of the e-commerce marketplace, from the expectations of online buyers and the best e-commerce platforms for small business applications to social media marketing and fulfillment strategies for online purchases. Her presentation is interactive, so attendees can seek and hear advice tailored to their unique business needs.

“Brick and mortar stores and businesses face increasingly stiff competition from online retailers,” observed Assemblyman Otis. “I hope that this forum will help give small business owners the tools of the e-commerce marketplace and provide practical strategies to help grow their businesses through online sales and marketing.”

WEDC Executive Director Anne Janiak said: “Once again we are pleased to cosponsor this small business forum with Assemblyman Otis. The program is designed to provide our clients with the insights, knowledge and strategies they need so that their businesses can benefit from the ever increasing popularity of online shopping and e-commerce.”

At the conclusion of Ms. Shaheen’s presentation, program attendees will have the opportunity to gather informational materials and meet one-on-one with representatives of various government agencies and private organizations. At previous small business forums, attendees have found the ability to discuss their individual business needs with agency representatives to be a particularly valuable part of the event.

There is still time to register for this free forum. Interested parties should contact Debra Lagapa in Assemblyman Otis’ district office,, or (914) 939-7028, or Maria Guardado of WEDC,, (914) 948-6098, x15.