FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES HOW THE CITY’S FIVE-BOROUGH ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY PLAN IS HELPING NEW YORKERS THROUGH DIFFICULT ECONOMIC TIMES IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, May 3, 2009
"Even in these hard times, most New Yorkers are going to keep their jobs and keep their homes. But there are also thousands of people who are in trouble. Some have recently been laid off. Others are facing foreclosure. Some who own businesses are struggling to keep their doors open. Others are drowning in debt.
"This recession is making it hard for businesses and households alike to make ends meet. But we want you to know that help is available. We're implementing a wide range of initiatives that offer help to New Yorkers during these tough times. They're all part of our Five-Borough Economic Opportunity Plan - which is our comprehensive strategy for guiding New York City through the economic downturn as quickly as possible.
"Let me first talk about what we can do for people in the job market. In tough times like these, it's easy for job-hunters to feel dejected - but putting as many New Yorkers as possible to work is essential to our recovery. Before you get discouraged, visit one of our Workforce 1 Career Centers, which have developed close relationships with the industries that are hiring. In just a few short years, these Centers have gone from placing 500 people in jobs per year… to placing more than 17,000 per year. And despite the recession, they're on track to top that this year.
"How about small businesses? They're struggling, as well - and because they employ more than half of New Yorkers in the private sector, their recovery is also crucial. To make it easier to do business in the city - and with the city - we are revamping our 'Business Express' website into a one-stop shop for all permits and licenses. Our 'Business Solutions' centers located in every borough are places where entrepreneurs can get help navigating government regulations, accessing incentives, or even getting financing to retrain their employees for the skills that today's changing economy demands.
"Families are also feeling the pressure of this recession at home - but once again, it's important for New Yorkers to know that City government is here to help. For instance, our Office of Financial Empowerment is working to help New Yorkers manage their credit, control their debt, and build up their assets. We're also making free one-on-one financial counseling available to all city residents.
"Because homeownership is the glue that binds our communities, we are also helping New Yorkers buy their homes and keep their homes. Through our Center for New York City Neighborhoods, families at risk of foreclosure can access free counseling and legal services. At the same time, our Department of Housing Preservation & Development is offering low-interest loans to homeowners in need of renovations or repairs and helping qualified first-time buyers with down payments to purchase affordable housing. Our record in this area is excellent - less than 1 percent of homes bought under the City's programs have ended up in foreclosure.
"The bottom line is - we've put in place a wide range of initiatives to help New Yorkers through these tough times. To learn more about these programs and our Five-Borough Economic Opportunity Plan, just call 311 or visit nyc.gov.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Have a Happy Mother's Day."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958