City of Newburgh — When Carlos Mansilla decided he wanted to open up a restaurant on Broadway, it wasn't like he was totally new to the game.

After all, he had owned an office-cleaning business for years and had lived here for 34 years after leaving his native Peru. His English isn't perfect, but he's gotten by.

But as Mansilla, 64, found out, navigating Newburgh's permit and inspection process can be daunting. County heath permits, state corporation papers, building permits, federal taxpayer identification paperwork.

"It was a lot of work," Mansilla said yesterday at the grand opening of El Tumi, his Peruvian restaurant. "It was very stressful."

Mansilla is the first local business owner to take advantage of a new city program that guides would-be entrepreneurs, especially those in Newburgh's fast-growing Latino community — through the startup process.

The city's fledgling business-services office helped coordinate Mansilla's work on the former beauty salon at 346 Broadway with fire and building inspectors, and guided him through piles of paperwork.

The idea, said Jasmine Miranda, coordinator of the business-services office, is to make it a little easier to open new businesses in a city that's desperate for them.

Getting one's ducks in a row for a business opening is hard for everyone, Miranda said. But for native Spanish speakers, who may come from countries without stringent codes, it can be doubly so.

"I think a lot of people find the permitting process the hardest," she said.

Miranda's office also administers a block of grants that provide money for business owners looking to spruce up their business's facades and exteriors.

After his success with the office, Mansilla said he will try that next.

For Richard Rivera, of Latinos United of the Hudson Valley, Mansilla's experience was a test case. "There is always a fear (among Latinos) about going to the government," said Rivera, whose organization steered Mansilla to City Hall. "What we need to do now is put the word out to other Latinos that we can open businesses in this city."

Newburgh is already home to dozens of Latino-owned stores and businesses.

Miranda said the city is putting together a database that will, for the first time, index exactly how many businesses call Newburgh home.