Jobs & Economic Development

The key to economic security – paying the rent, putting kids through college and guaranteeing a secure retirement – is a good paying job. Today, too many New Yorkers are unemployed or underemployed and cannot provide for their families. And rising income inequality has seen too many families working longer and harder just to make ends meet.

That’s why Chris has worked hard to create jobs, diversify our economy, help small businesses and raise our standard of living in all five boroughs.  

Our city has made real progress and we are doing better than the rest of the nation. But we cannot be satisfied until all New Yorkers have real economic opportunity and can provide for their families.

As Speaker, Chris:

  • Helped bring nearly 3,000 new, good paying manufacturing jobs to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
  • Passed the living wage law that requires a salary of at least $10 an hour for many workers at city-funded developments.
  • Created a penalty relief period for outstanding fines, saving businesses and individuals $33 Million in penalties and interest.
  • Ended double taxation for many of the city’s smallest business owners through an Unincorporated Business Tax Credit 
  • Created a $3 million Biotech Tax Credit, which has led to a 12 percent growth of biotech research jobs.
  • Created a $10 million Small Manufacturing Investment Fund to renovate and retrofit unused warehouse space for new firms.
  • Passed MWBE legislation, helping minority and women owned businesses win contracts with the City.
  • Converted unused city owned market space at La Marqueta in East Harlem into Hot Bread Kitchen’s bakery and kitchen incubator programs, which has helped launch 32 diverse food businesses.
  • Launched NYC Tech Connect, an industry organization that supports the development of potential tech entrepreneurs
  • Created GroceryWorks, a program that trains unemployed New Yorkers for jobs in the food retail industry and places them in career-track positions.
  • Launched the Metropolitan Entrepreneur Testing Service, which provides clean technology entrepreneurs with free space in City facilities.
  • Partnered with hackNY on a new initiative to connect students and recent graduates with full-time positions and internships within the local tech community.
  • Partnered with the administration on the launch of ConnectNYC, a program that provides small businesses with access to free, fast-tracked fiber internet connectivity at their place of business.
  • Supported a comprehensive planning process designed to identify next steps for growth in the “Brooklyn Tech Triangle.”
  • Launched two technology education partnerships designed to give New Yorkers the in-demand software development skills they need to compete for jobs in our technology sector.

As Mayor, Chris plans to:

  • Target individual neighborhoods for strategic economic development. Chris has an economic development plan which will capitalize on the different strengths, infrastructure, and potential of New York City’s neighborhoods. It’s a strategy that sees opportunity in every community by looking at existing industries with room for growth and identifying new industries that can build on neighborhood advantages. For example, the South Bronx is a center for trucking and in the next few years those trucks will need to be retrofitted by clean-tech companies to meet new efficiency standards. We can capitalize on that need and the many strengths of the South Bronx such as its infrastructure, transit hubs, roads, and human capital. And by creating matching grants for clean-tech companies, or helping property owners outfit space that suits the industry’s needs, we can begin to transform the South Bronx into a modern hub of clean-tech jobs.

  • Double the city’s exports by 2020, by creating NYC’s first ever regional export council. New York City underperforms in exports compared to every other major metropolitan region in the country. Cities with high levels of exports achieve this success because they utilize a regional approach and adhere to a comprehensive strategy that helps local businesses identify and access foreign markets. Chris will bring together government and industry leaders from New York, New Jersey, and the Port Authority to develop a comprehensive regional plan with the goal of doubling our city’s exports by the year 2020. This will create more jobs on the Staten Island waterfront, and boost sales for companies all over the city and region.

  • Create 2,000 new manufacturing jobs in Sunset Park. Sunset Park contains nearly 9 million square feet of city-controlled industrial space, and much of it remains underutilized. We can build on the success of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and turn these properties into thriving centers of modern manufacturing. After the city created an independent non-profit development corporation in charge of investing in the Navy Yard, it grew to employ 6,000 New Yorkers and create billions of dollars in economic activity for the city. Chris will create a similar non-profit corporation for the terminals at Sunset Park that will help bring in new businesses and new jobs. By better utilizing all of the unused industrial space, we can create more than 2,000 new jobs.

  • Help small businesses grow so they can hire more New Yorkers. Starting your own business is a central part of the middle class dream for many New Yorkers. But ask any small business owner and they’ll tell you one of their biggest challenges is accessing credit to buy new equipment or acquire a bigger space so they can grow their business. Chris will create a new pool of city capital that will act as a backstop for community lenders, empowering them to make bigger loans to new and growing businesses. For every $2 million the city puts up, we can guarantee as much as $5 million in small business lending.

  • Attract more businesses and jobs with the highest quality workforce in the world. Our workforce is the most important factor that attracts companies and entrepreneurs to create jobs in the five boroughs. But our current workforce development system is disjointed and out of date. Chris introduce a thoroughly reinvented workforce development system - one that’s driven by real world-demand, has clearly defined metrics and goals, and rewards lasting results.

  • Get more international businesses and entrepreneurs investing and creating jobs in NYC. Many international businesses and growing startups are interested in opening offices in New York City, but are daunted by having to navigate an unfamiliar environment. Chris will create a team of economic development staff that will be dedicated to these businesses, providing services like visa application assistance so their employees can work in New York, or connecting firms with available space in the five boroughs. The team will also spend time on the ground in major international cities and emerging markets, working to attract business investment, and bringing thousands of new jobs to the five boroughs.

  • Create more jobs and help NYC food businesses thrive by developing a series of world-class food markets. One of the city’s strongest business sectors is food manufacturing. It’s a $5 billion industry that employs tens of thousands of New Yorkers. Chris will develop a series of world-class regional food markets that will serve as destinations for residents and tourists alike. These markets will bring fresh local food to residents of the neighborhood and help drive economic development by providing a place for local food manufacturers to sell their goods. The first market at the South Street Seaport, which is set to open seven days a week starting next fall, will be the first of many in Chris’ citywide food market plan.

  • Incentivize more investment in biotech and medtech startups. Sometimes emerging businesses need a little help attracting early stage investors; this is especially true for the biotech and medtech industries. Both of these industries show great potential in NYC, but they need help to grow. Chris will work with the State to create a brand new tax credit for investors to encourage them to fund new biotech and medtech startups.

  • Encourage domestic companies to bring American jobs back onshore. Over the past few decades, New York and the United States have seen a loss of jobs to less expensive international labor markets. However, many American companies are looking to move some of their outsourced jobs back to the United States. Chris believes we can bring many of these jobs to the City, creating new job openings for New Yorkers. Many of these positions will require specific types of training, which makes the size and quality of our workforce a major asset.

  • Continue to develop a Brooklyn Tech Triangle. The tech industry, like a lot of industries, thrives on connections to similar businesses. Take for example, the proximity of DUMBO and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, two hubs of our growing tech sector. All you need to do is look at a map to realize the next logical place for these businesses to head is Downtown Brooklyn. Chris will continue to invest in Downtown Brooklyn as the third point in a vibrant Brooklyn Tech Triangle by increasing transit connections and helping property owners retrofit their space to suit the needs of tech startups.

  • Provide a single point of contact for businesses interacting with the city. The current approvals process for small businesses in New York is extremely complex, and often requires business owners to interact with staff at multiple agencies for permits, inspections, or assistance. Chris will implement a program called NYC Business Link, to provide a single point of contact for small business owners. All you’ll have to do is call 311, and a Link Coordinator will help you get every permit, every license, and every inspection. They'll get to know your business and your needs, and coordinate with each City agency on your behalf.

  • Ensure that more government contracts are awarded to local businesses. Whenever the City buys a product or procures a service, we’re required by State law to take the lowest bid – even if that means sending our taxpayer dollars to Minnesota or Malaysia. Chris will work in Albany to change that law, so we can give preference to a qualified local company, particularly one that’s woman or minority owned. We may spend a little more up front, but we’ll support local jobs and ultimately create additional revenue for local businesses and the city.

  • Strengthen our manufacturing, distribution, and export economy while reducing congestion with the Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel. While an average of 43 percent of goods traveling between U.S. cities are transported by rail, less than 1 percent travel by rail in and out of the New York City region. That puts New York manufacturers at a disadvantage when it comes to exporting products around the country and the world, and it means thousands of trucks flood our streets causing traffic congestion and high asthma rates. As mayor, Chris will work with the Port Authority and Congressman Nadler to advance the Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel proposal and help make New York City a world class port city once again.  

  • Create the Office of Innovation and appoint Chief Innovation Officer. The Office of Innovation will engage in a top to bottom review of city government to look for ways of using technology to reduce costs and improve services. Innovators from the private sector will be tapped to staff the office and will provide leadership in important areas like data analytics, service design and delivery, and providing greater opportunity to local tech companies.

  • Launch mycityhall, a new tool that will revolutionize the way that New Yorkers interact with the City. Chris’ Office of Innovation will launch a one- stop online portal that will allow New Yorkers to conduct all business with the City, in a customized fashion — from paying a water bill to registering a child for school to fighting a parking ticket. mycityhall will offer personalized information, benefits, and services and will provide a convenient tool for residents to access the services they need.

  • Make NYC the Most Wired City in the U.S. by 2018. Chris will create a Special Commission on 5-Borough Connectivity to speed up the process of establishing high-speed broadband and wi-fi in communities across the city. The Commission will seek ways to increase internet connectivity for business looking to grow and create jobs, as well as provide lower income New Yorkers with access to 21st century technology tools.

  • Create a tech company concierge to encourage new tech job creation. This centralized resource for tech companies will connect business owners and entrepreneurs with the tools they need and help them access the space, capital and workforce they need for their businesses to grow.

  • Ensure no parent is turned away from daycare because they can't afford diapers.  A recent study found that one out of every three parents in America has struggled to provide enough diapers for their children. Low-income parents struggling from paycheck to paycheck may find themselves without diapers or the cash to buy them. As Mayor, Chris will work with the Food Bank to establish New York City's first Diaper Bank to be distributed through food pantries throughout the city.  The Diaper Bank will provide struggling families with an emergency source of free diapers to ensure that child care and diapers and are not barriers to employment.
  • Create a destination for tourists and New Yorkers at La Marqueta. In 5 years we could have a bustling La Marqueta indoor market as the anchor tenant to a mile-long outdoor La Marqueta Mile, filled with hundreds of local food and retail businesses that will provide thousands of jobs for East Harlem residents. Chris will push for this neighborhood focused development by:
    • Shifting from the current 30-day special permit for retail leases to a traditional one-year lease structure making it easier for tenants to retain staff, attract capital and grow.
    • Providing upfront grants that will offset one year of rent to attract new La Marqueta tenants in exchange for a long-term lease and a commitment to hire local residents.
    • Revamping the City’s marketing strategy for La Marqueta by extending its hours of operation and working with NYC & Company and local cultural institutions to attract local and foreign visitors.
    • Providing capital commitment to launch the first phase of construction for the La Marqueta Mile outdoor market, which will provide low-cost opportunities to new and existing vendors from the neighborhood and bringing in millions of dollars in economic impact.
  • Transform the South Bronx into a green trucking jobs and business center. The South Bronx is a center for over 1,600 transportation companies as well as warehousing, distribution, buses, and trucking. In five years Chris envisions a South Bronx dotted with the next generation of clean technology firms seated next to facilities that can retrofit and manufacture green trucks with all of these businesses staffed by local Bronx residents trained in in-demand skills. Chris will leverage this moment to bring clean tech jobs to the South Bronx that will help transition truck fleets to cleaner fuels and reduce emissions and asthma rates. Chris will transform the South Bronx into the city’s green trucking epicenter by:
    • Offering matching grants for clean tech firms that have received federal Small Business Innovation Research Program or Small Business Technology Transfer Program grants. This could mean between $75,000-$250,000 in benefits to a firm getting its start in New York City.
    • Providing $1 million in loan guarantees to establish a loan program that will provide up to $2.5 million in low-cost loans from local lenders.  
    • Partnering with Hostos and Bronx Community College’s Center for Sustainable Energy to expand certificate and degree programs for current students and people who might need these new skills.
  • Revitalize northern Staten Island through residential and commercial development. In five years, Stapleton will be a thriving residential, commercial, and cultural hub connected with St. George. Not only will this area be a destination for tourists but more importantly it will provide a great place to live for the next generation of Staten Islanders. To speed up this process, Chris will:
    • Commit city capital to build a pedestrian and bike path between Homeport and the Staten Island Ferry, Ferris Wheel & Lighthouse Museum. Not only will this provide a physical connection between these sites for residents and visitors but bringing Citibike to the ferry port will provide for easy access.
    • Work with DOT and DCP to plan and build streetscaping and way finding between Homeport and upland Stapleton to connect the downtown to the Homeport development site.
    • Identify a community partner to work with landlords to reactivate vacant storefronts with temporary creative and community uses. This will include partnering with cultural organizations and the nonprofit community to leverage Stapleton’s creative community into a force of revitalization.
    • Commit $500K to activate Tappen Park through community programming. This park literally serves as the “Town Square” for upland Stapleton and revitalizing it would revitalize its use as a vital hub for community engagement.
  • Create a Latino Business Network that allows members to learn from each other and disseminate important information about both regulations and benefits. Many of the services the city currently provides to small businesses are centrally located and require business owners to close their shop and travel to get basic paperwork done. Instead of just offering resources through borough Small Business Solutions Centers, Chris will bring culturally and linguistically competent small business services directly into our neighborhoods. Chris will increase the number of Latino owned small businesses using technology by 25 percent over the next 4 years. Finally, recognizing the entrepreneurial potential of immigrant New Yorkers, Chris will create Immigrant Business Accelerators that to increase access to space, capital, and support services, and help business owners develop export-driven business strategy.
  • Ensure Non-English speaking small business owners receive inspections in their own language.  Small business owners are the backbone of our city’s economy, and we need to make sure we’re not burdening them with unnecessary fines, especially as a result of miscommunication. That’s why as mayor, Chris will ensure that through a combination of hiring multilingual inspectors and providing translation services, all business owners receive inspections in their own language.
  • Improve wages and benefits for thousands of working New Yorkers, to create a greater ladder to the middle class.  The daughter of a union electrical worker, Chris has spent her career standing with the labor community fighting for better wages and other worker protections. As Mayor she will use the powers of her office to help more workers in their efforts to organize and fight for fair contracts and better wages. This will include continued support of the efforts of car wash and fast food employees, airport workers, building service staff, and many other hard working New Yorkers.
  • Ensure that taxpayer dollars go to create good paying, middle class jobs.  Every year New York City spends millions of dollars investing in economic development projects that help create more jobs and bring needed infrastructure into communities. As Mayor, Chris will ensure that more of those publicly funded developments are required to provide workers with a living wage and benefits, so working New Yorkers can pull themselves up to the middle class. This will build on her successful passage of a Living Wage Law that already requires workers at many developments to be paid at least 10 dollars per hour.
  • Connect parents who use the City’s Workforce1 Centers with childcare services. The City will work with center operators to determine the best model for providing the childcare at various locations, whether on site or by connecting with local providers. By utilizing vouchers, tax credits and assisting in finding affordable local options, the city will also work to connect parents with extended childcare. In 2012, 73,518 new jobseekers were registered through the Workforce1 Career Center system and 30,900 job placements were made. All twelve of the city’s general service Workforce1 Centers would be included under Chris’ proposed program.
  • Expand job growth in New York City’s tech sector by tapping into unique opportunities in Long Island City.  Long Island City has the potential to launch dozens of new companies and create tens of thousands of jobs over the next ten years. Chris’ proposals focus on strengthening workforce training and improving transportation in order to lay the foundation for the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs. Specifically, she will:
    • Create a hub of innovation with an expanded transportation network by expanding ferry service, launching a new Wi-Fi equipped bus service and creating a new Select Bus Service route between LIC and Manhattan.
    • Build a Techforce1 center focusing on meeting the needs of the tech sector.
    • Establish Long Island City’s first incubator for tech entrepreneurs and businesses.
    • Expanding CUNY TAP and Access to Code programs.
  • Institute a City Level Paid Family Leave Program.  Study after study has shown that even where women and men receive equal pay for equal work, pay inequities develop when women are required to start and stop their careers to deal with family and caregiving responsibilities. As Mayor, Chris will create a program under which New York City workers who need to take leave for maternity, caring for a newborn or newly adopted child, or to care for sick family members.  Chris’ plan will provide eight weeks of paid leave at 2/3rd of a worker’s income, up to $300 per week, on top of the $170 already provided by State Temporary Disability Insurance, for a total of $470 per week.  The program will provide paid leave to those who need it most, with individual incomes of less than $100,000 per year.
  • Open a specialized Workforce1 site dedicated to helping 50+ New Yorkers find work, volunteer opportunities and financial security.  As Mayor, Chris will open a Workforce1 center tailored to meet the needs of our 50+ workforce in a comfortable and age-friendly environment.  Older New Yorkers and others trained on how to best serve this population will staff the center and will build partnerships with age-friendly employers who are interested in utilizing these workers’ skills. This center will also be co-located with additional services, so that older New Yorkers can conveniently discuss their financial health with professional advisors or find volunteer or educational opportunities.  Chris will also make sure that age-friendly services are available at other Workforce1 sites, and take the model on the road to community centers and other local venues.
  • Give veterans credit for military job certifications so they can get jobs. A medic who deploys overseas and treats combat wounds shouldn’t have to start from scratch when they return home and want to work as an EMT. Unfortunately this is exactly what veterans face. Just as Chris took action at the city level to fix this issue with building trades certifications, she will work to pass state legislation that accounts for military service when crafting requirements for certifications and licenses controlled by Albany, so that military experience is treated as an asset rather than a liability.
  • Provide grants to veteran small business owners and entrepreneurs. Many small business owners are proud of their national service yet the cost of a deployment to these men and women is often too high to bear. As the sole proprietor of their business, it’s often simply not possible to close shop for 7 months to a year and a half. Chris will create a Veteran Business Enterprise certification, modeled on existing MWBE certification, for small business owners that will give them access to training and provide contracting preferences. Lastly, Chris will provide access to capital for recent veterans looking to start small businesses and partner with private organizations to create training that combines veteran leadership and experience with entrepreneurial skills.
  •  Reduce the cost of child care with a child care tax credit.  New York City has the most expensive infant day care costs in the country, which takes a big chunk out of paychecks for working families.  Chris has a plan to put real money in the hands of more hardworking New Yorkers who pay for child care with the Middle Class Child Care Tax Credit. Currently, only households making $25,000 or less benefit from the existing child care tax credit. The new plan builds on existing state and federal credits and increases the  income limit to a more reasonable $170,000.  This benefits more than 100,000 families in New York City and means that a family with two children making $75,000 a year will receive a total annual benefit of $2,040.

  • Create jobs by growing New York’s specialty food and beverage industry.  With over 1,000 firms, New York City’s specialty food and beverage sector has tremendous potential for growth.   Chris will expand the sector through the creation of a city-sponsored Specialty Food Industry Development Corporation that will provide technical assistance to growing firms.  She’ll also help create a shared co-packing facility that will allow smaller manufacturers to scale up their production in New York City. With help from the City, these local businesses will be able to sell more products and employ more New Yorkers.

  • Support local design businesses. When the city spends money on fixtures or furniture for public buildings and parks, too much of that money currently gets spent on products designed and manufactured in other parts of the country or around the world.  In partnership with the Department of Design and Construction, Chris created the Built/NYC program to hire local design companies for city capital projects and bolster our creative economy. Built/NYC will help emerging designers gain a local foothold, and established designers grow their businesses, while also supporting small manufacturers who will make the products.  As mayor, Chris will builds on this program to get more local dollars to local designers and manufacturers, so they can create jobs for New Yorkers in every neighborhood.

  • Make sure more workers on taxpayer projects get paid a living wage.  Chris has already passed living wage and prevailing wage laws that require enhanced wages for many workers at city-funded developments.  As mayor Chris will drop all city lawsuits that the Bloomberg administration has initiated against these laws.  And she’ll go even farther, changing city policies to make living wage a requirement in more of our development deals.