Underestimate City Council Member Mathieu Eugene (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Garden, Ditmas Park) in the 2021 Brooklyn Borough President’s race at you own peril.
That after about 50 people crowded into Euegen’s East Flatbush district office yesterday for a free small business workshop.
Eugene co-hosted the event with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to provide information and resources for local business owners who are interested in applying for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Certification.
The workshop is made possible through Eugene’s ongoing commitment to providing free strategic growth resources for small business owners.
“To all of our business owners, thank you for what you are doing for our city, because small businesses do so much to support our economy,” said Eugene. “I believe that as a government, we should do much more for our small business owners, because you have all worked very hard and you have a vision on how to make a difference and to have an impact on the local economy. Maintaining a small business is not easy.”
Eugene noted that during the de Blasio administration there has been a growing number of small businesses that have been forced to close their doors.
“I believe that the government needs to help these business owners and provide guidance on how they can resolve the issues they are facing. One of the issues I am working on with city agencies is to help business owners deal with the summonses they receive from the city. I want to help business owners understand them so that they can be resolved. My question for city agencies has always been, ‘How many members of the minority community get access to resources available through the NYC Department of Small Business Services and through EDC?’ There are resources available, and that’s the reason why I am partnering with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce,” he said.
The MWBE Certification Workshop provided guidance on how to expand opportunities for minority and women entrepreneurs to access government contracts to grow their business. When eligible businesses are certified with the City, they become more visible to prospective buyers, including City agencies and private contractors seeking to purchase goods and services.
The workshop comes as Eugene has put out strong feelers that he will enter the 2021 borough president’s race. While never a favorite of progressives, who continue to put harsh regulations on small businesses that operate on thin profit margins, Eugene, has a proven ability to both raise money and get votes.
A case in point was his last city council race where the mainly white progressive crowd in Lefferts Gardens and Ditmas Park all but wrote Eugene off and continued to put out negative stories on him, despite his strong advocacy and support for Brooklyn’s hospitals, healthcare and youth employment.
And when the votes were tallied, Eugene won convincingly with 13,840 votes or 60.12% of the electorate, far outpacing challenger, Brian Cunningham, who received 8,370 votes, or 36.36% of the electorate.
Eugene, like his fellow Haitian-American colleagues, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte and Farah Louis, relies on a strong Haitian-American voting base and a good relationship with Brooklyn’s Jewish community.
Also in the race thus far are City Council Members Robert Cornegy Jr. and Antonio Reynoso. City Council Members Chaim Deutsch, Rafael Espinal and Mark Treyger are also rumored to be eyeing the seat.