New York City for Business

Business in New York City

By all standards, New York is a global city that holds an undisputed position at the heart of the global economy. The city's far-reaching economic and financial influence, its global competitiveness, overall prosperity, and impressive economic output are some of the key indicators pointing at the city's success story New York is ranked second in the latest Global Power City Index and is one of the world's Cities of Opportunity.

Part of this success can be attributed to the city's diverse economy. Although the financial services sector accounts for 15 per cent of the city's economic output and employs over 450,000 people, other key sectors are driving New York's economy too, including healthcare, business services, retail and food services, leisure and hospitality, and technical manufacturing. With a workforce of 4.25 million (of which 3.7 million belong to the private sector), New York City has seen the highest year-on-year growth rates in accounting, home healthcare, scientific research, and support activities in the air transportation sector. Behind these growth levels are a series of initiatives designed boost access to finance, entrepreneurship, and skills development.

Financing and Incentives for Businesses in New York

The majority of business financing initiatives in New York City are administered by the Empire State Development Corporation, whose objective is to support the local economy and encourage business growth. Among the key incentive programs run by this institution we can highlight the Micro Enterprise Loan Fund, the Minority and Women-Owned Business Investment and Business Lending programs, the New Markets Tax Credits, and the Economic Development Fund. Industry-specific assistance programs are also available in sectors like manufacturing, food and beverages, transportation, export, and film production.

In addition, the Commercial Expansion Area Program offers tax credits and abatements on commercial and industrial real estate to eligible businesses in Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Brooklyn, and certain parts of Manhattan.

The Lower Manhattan Revitalization Program is run by the New York City Department of Finance and aims to support business owners who invest in older real estate (built before 1975) by offering special reductions on commercial rent tax and 3 or 5-year property tax abatements. In Upper Manhattan, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone offers financial assistance in the form of micro-loans and small business loans. A similar project is run by the BOEDC in South Bronx, where wage tax credits and tax-exempt bond financing are also available.

The establishment of Foreign Trade Zones is another important incentive that aims to increase the profitability of companies in various sectors, from import and export to warehousing, green technologies, construction, and manufacturing. Companies based at a Foreign Trade Zone benefit from exemption on custom duties, express customs clearance, and expedited shipments.

Lastly, the New York City Industrial Development Agency is another major provider of business incentive programs, with a focus on sectors like financial services, fashion, healthcare, life sciences, retail, food manufacturing, media, and technology. For more information on the support available, visit For a comprehensive overview of all the financial incentive programs available throughout the city, visit

Programs for Entrepreneurs

In late 2015, New York was listed among the top-5 most entrepreneurial cities in the United States. Between 2010 and 2013, small business growth rates reached 2.4 per cent, and business survival rates are also among the highest in the nation. Several government initiatives are in place to make entrepreneurship a feasible option to a wider number of individuals irrespective of age, gender, and ethnicity. For example, Women Entrepreneurs New York City runs mentoring programs and free-of-charge training courses for female entrepreneurs in the city.

A similar program is offered by the South Bronx Economic Development Corporation to members of immigrant communities, and other entrepreneurial support plans are available to startups involved in design, the arts, life sciences, fashion, and engineering. Another successful initiative is the Entrepreneurial Assistance Program, which delivers training, counseling, advice, and general support to entrepreneurs at various Assistance Centers.

Workforce Training and Local Business Programs

There are several platforms created to help New York City businesses become more competitive by investing in skills and workforce training. Some of the programs worth mentioning include Opportunity for Neighborhood Economic Excellence, HireNYC, and NYC Business Innovation Challenge.

Business owners who invest in skills training can access tax credits though the Employee Training Incentive Program, and additional initiatives are available via the New York City Employment and Training Coalition, which consists of over 200 organizations that have been facilitating workforce improvement programs since 1998.