Printer Friendly Format
View Press Conference
or 300k
April 26, 2002


Expanded Assistance for Small Businesses with Less than Ten Employees also Proposed

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Governor George E. Pataki today announced that fourteen companies have made long-term commitments to remain in Lower Manhattan, retaining over 10,000 jobs in the area. Through the City-State administered Job Creation and Retention Program, funded by the Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant fund, these companies have agreed to stay in Lower Manhattan, on average, for at least nine years. The Mayor and Governor also announced that the City and State will request an expansion of the Small Firm and Attraction Grant Program to include businesses with one to nine employees; the program currently offers financial assistance to businesses with between ten and 200 employees. US Senator Charles Schumer, US Senator Hillary Clinton, State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, and Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Roy Bernardi also attended the announcement.

The fourteen companies are: Ambac Financial Group, Bank of Nova Scotia, Brown Brothers Harriman, Century 21, Deloitte Consulting, Deloitte and Touche, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, Holland & Knight, Hughes Hubbard & Reed, Media Planning Group, Nomura Holding America, Pace University, Refco Group, and Wildcat Service Corporation.

"Because large companies employ more than half of the private jobs in Lower Manhattan, the stabilization of these corporations is essential to a growing economy," said Mayor Bloomberg. "These employers will revitalize the downtown community by restoring confidence in the area, stabilizing the job base, and providing needed foot traffic to small businesses."

"These companies will contribute to building a strong foundation as we rebuild and revitalize Lower Manhattan on every level," said Governor Pataki. "As we continue to prioritize the recovery effort at Ground Zero and take aggressive steps to improving the quality of life for the families in the area, we will also continue to provide incentives that will bring businesses - large and small - back into Lower Manhattan."

"The concern that after September 11th, jobs would leave the downtown area in waves has proven to be unfounded," said Senator Schumer. "We are winning the fight to retain every single job in the downtown area and I am proud of the spirit and values these fourteen companies have exhibited through their commitment to Lower Manhattan."

"We fought for and won federal funding to encourage businesses to come back to Lower Manhattan," said Senator Clinton. "But the proof is in these commitments. By returning, these companies will help bring more workers, residents, visitors and smaller businesses to lower Manhattan, and we demonstrate once more to those who seek to damage our city and nation the simple fact that New York and America will not be cowed."

"The success of New York City's recovery hinges on our ability to restore public and corporate confidence in Downtown Manhattan," said Assembly Speaker Silver. "It takes courage, dedication and strong, tough leadership to recommit to this community and start again after all that we have experienced. As a proud resident and representative of Lower Manhattan, I thank and commend all of our corporate citizens for making a commitment to stay in your Downtown home."

"Under the leadership of Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg, Lower Manhattan continues to rebound, recover and rebuild," said Empire State Development Chairman Charles Gargano. "I'd also like to thank Speaker Silver and our entire congressional delegation, particularly Senators Schumer and Clinton, as well as HUD Secretary Martinez and Assistant Secretary Bernardi for all of their hard work and support."

"Today's announcement reflects the partnership the State and City have maintained with both the private sector and the federal government as we work towards making Lower Manhattan a vibrant 24/7 community that is even stronger than it was before the events of September 11th," said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development & Rebuilding Daniel Doctoroff.

"This is good news for New York City. The Bush Administration and HUD will continue to work with Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg to attract and retain businesses, and to keep jobs in Lower Manhattan," said HUD Secretary Mel Martinez.

"These latest developments send a strong, positive message to the business community that Lower Manhattan remains a thriving business community," said Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Chairman John C. Whitehead.

The initial group of corporations announced today, which have agreed to maintain employment in Lower Manhattan through at least the year 2009, represent both foreign and domestic-based firms, as well as a range of industries, including finance, law, retail, professional services, education and media. Their long-term commitment to Lower Manhattan will have a substantial economic impact on the downtown area and New York City, which represents 10,272 direct jobs, as well as 10,652 indirect jobs, and over $251 million in New York City and New York State direct and indirect annual tax revenue. The present value of these taxes over the average commitment term of 9 years is $1.8 billion. The grants administered in this round amount to a total of $32.9 million.

The grant terms of the program are discretionary, but require the commitment of the companies to a minimum seven-year stay in Lower Manhattan. The grant determination is based on criteria such as proximity to the World Trade Center site, economic impact, early commitment, number of jobs retained, number of jobs created, and risk of flight. Companies must adhere to their long-term commitment to downtown or face recapture of two times the value of their grant. Companies must provide annual compliance reports to ESDC for the duration of the commitment.

The Job Creation and Retention Program is a World Trade Center assistance program targeting companies south of Canal Street with over 200 employees and is jointly administered by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The program is designed to stabilize the job base in Lower Manhattan, restore the vibrancy of the downtown community, encourage the creation of new jobs, as well as attract new businesses and diversify the downtown economy.

Assistance for Small Businesses

Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Pataki also announced that the City and State will request an expansion of the Small Firm and Attraction Grant Program to include businesses with between one and nine employees. The original program offered financial assistance in the form of as-of-right retention grants to businesses with between ten and 200 employees who renewed or extended their leases in Lower Manhattan.

Mayor Bloomberg said, "Small businesses are not only vital to our economy but are an integral part of the very character of our City, and it is important that we support and sustain our small business citizens in every way possible."

City Council Speaker Miller said, "Small businesses make up the foundation of Lower Manhattan, and they need our help now more than ever. By including all businesses in the recovery effort we are creating parity and equality for everyone affected by the events of September 11th. I am happy to see that the City Council and the Administration can work together to help rebuild downtown and I look forward to future collaborations."

Councilmember Alan Gerson said, "We thank the Administration for recognizing the importance of including the smallest businesses in this program. This is a gratifying first step toward helping the many small businesses that have been overlooked."

The City and State will seek from the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development an amendment to their $700 million Action Plan. The State and the City will oversee a 15-day comment period after which time they will inform HUD of the intent to modify the Action Plan and begin the revised program.

Under the program, an eligible business can receive a grant of either $3,500 or $5,000 per employee, depending on location, upon signing or renewing a lease. Each grant will be paid in two equal installments, the first upon approval and the second 18 months later.

Contact: Edward Skyler
Jennifer Falk
(212) 788-2958
  Lynn Rasic (EDC)
(212) 312-3523
Michael Marr (ESDC)
(212) 803-3740