FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES LATEST INITIATIVES TO GROW CITY'S ALREADY EXPANDING RETAIL INDUSTRY, HELP BUSINESSES CREATE GOOD-PAYING JOBS AND CONNECT STRUGGLING NEW YORKERS WITH EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, December 11, 2011
“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“The holiday season is in full swing now, and New Yorkers and out-of-towners are thronging shopping districts and shopping centers across the five boroughs. It’s the busiest time of year for our city’s key $78 billion-a-year retailing industry – one that, with some 300,000 jobs, accounts for roughly 10 percent of the private sector jobs in our city. And with more stores expanding and moving here, that job total is bound to grow – not just during the holidays, but all year round.
“Consumer spending is fueling that growth. During the first half of 2011 – the most recent period we have figures for – retail sales were up nationwide. And in New York City, the trend was significantly stronger. All indications are that the holiday shopping season got off to a healthy start here, too – and it’s getting a big boost from the 6.3 million visitors to our city that we’re expecting during the six weeks ending New Year’s Day. Our popularity with international tourists adds to retailing’s surge here; during the third quarter of this year, retail spending by international visitors was 37 percent higher than in the same period of 2010. That’s a lot of shopping – and it creates a lot of jobs for New Yorkers, too.
“So does retailing’s remarkable, continued growth throughout the city – growth our Administration has worked hard to bring about. Take Downtown Brooklyn, for example. Thanks to our initiatives, its population is 30 times greater – that’s right, 30 times greater – than it was just 10 years ago, and more than 150,000 shoppers visit the area every business day. Our decision to open the lower floors of the Municipal Building on Court Street to shops and restaurants will make the area an even more popular destination. In the Bronx, stores at another project we fostered, the Gateway Center, are doing land office business, and giving South Bronx residents the better shopping options they deserve. We’re also moving ahead on bringing new homes and shops to long-neglected industrial zones at Hunter’s Point and Willets Point, both in Queens. The same process is underway at the former Homeport site on Staten Island, and in the sprawling Hudson Yards area on Manhattan’s Far West Side.
“We’re also taking steps to ensure that all New Yorkers – even those who’ve traditionally been among the hardest to employ – get a shot at jobs in our city. In Brownsville last week, we opened our first ‘Neighborhood Opportunity Network,’ or ‘NeON’ office. An element of our trailblazing Young Men’s Initiative, it’s kicking off a new push to take City probation officers away from downtown courthouses, put them in our communities, and directly link them and their probationers to local groups providing social services, education, and job training. By helping probationers get on the right path to jobs and self-sufficiency instead of the wrong path back to jail, we’re going to make our neighborhoods safer and economically sounder – and that’s good news for us all.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
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