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PR- 003-12
January 3, 2012


New Business Acceleration Team Shaves Two Months Off Six-Month Permitting Process, Has Helped 546 Restaurants Open So Far and Created 6,012 New Jobs

In Partnership with City Council, Program Set to Expand to Businesses in Other Sectors 

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn today announced that a total of 546 restaurants have opened using the services of the New Business Acceleration Team, a City Council initiative first announced in Speaker Quinn’s 2009 State of the City address. The initiative allows restaurants to go through the City’s permitting processes more quickly and speeds up the process of opening a new restaurant from six months to four. Created in March 2010, the New Business Acceleration Team works hand-in-hand with qualifying businesses to schedule and coordinate review appointments and required inspections from City agencies, including the New York City Fire Department, the Health Department and Department of Buildings, among other relevant agencies. By helping provide new restaurants with the answers and services they need from City government, businesses are able to open their doors faster – and in the process, create jobs for New Yorkers sooner than planned and generate additional revenue for the City. The Mayor and Speaker made the announcement at Tacos Tulcingo restaurant in Jackson Heights, the 500th restaurant the New Business Acceleration Team has helped launch, where they were also joined by New York State Restaurant Association Executive Vice President for New York City Andrew Rigie and restaurant owner Modesto Ramirez.

“Helping new restaurants open faster is good for the entire city – because the sooner they open, the sooner they can create jobs,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “That’s exactly why we partnered with the City Council to create the New Business Acceleration Team. By streamlining the process and making it easier to work with City government, we’re encouraging businesses to open, create jobs and generate additional economic activity in all five boroughs.”

“The Council conceived NBAT in response to a persistent problem restaurateurs told us about: the disproportionate amount of time it took to open a new business,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “We knew that by working with the owners and better coordinating government, we could fix this problem and reduce opening times – and we did. The great news is that under the new NBAT model, we have helped more than 500 restaurants open 2 months more quickly. That's two months more of salaries being paid, revenue being generated and jobs being created per restaurant. This initiative is a testament to the City Council’s and Bloomberg Administration’s shared dedication to helping small businesses succeed. We look forward to continue working together to expand this pilot program to other sectors.”

“City government should make it easier to open businesses that contribute to the economy and New Yorker’s quality of life, not harder,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway, “And that’s what NBAT is all about. By coordinating agency resources, streamlining inspections, and taking a customer-service approach, we are making it easier than ever before to start a successful restaurant in New York City—and we will expand the NBAT model to any business that can benefit from this coordinated approach.”

The New Business Acceleration Team has made a difference for New York City’s restaurant industry across each of five boroughs, with more than half of the 546 restaurants assisted located outside Manhattan. Together, these 546 new restaurants have created 6,012 new jobs for New Yorkers, including immigrants and those who are just starting up the economic ladder. By helping businesses, on average, open their doors 72 days sooner, the New Business Acceleration Team’s accelerated openings have also generated $9 million in additional tax revenue and $50 million in additional sales revenue.

“Under the New Business Acceleration program, every application for a new restaurant is assigned a case manager who guides the restaurant owner through the entire process,” said NBAT Executive Director Joanna Weiss. “The case manager is on hand to make sure every restaurant owner navigates the permitting process as efficiently as possible. Inspections – typically the most time-consuming part of opening a restaurant – are conducted by a coordinated team of inspectors from the Department of Buildings, the Fire Department, the Department of Environment Protection and other relevant agencies. As a result, the process is streamlined and more efficient, and a fire safety inspection that in the past might have taken more than a month to schedule and complete, for instance, now only takes a few days.”

“Helping more New York businesses open, thrive and expand is at the center of Mayor Bloomberg’s economic development strategy, and NBAT allows the City to perform its critical oversight and inspection responsibilities more efficiently and conveniently for business owners, which saves time and money,” Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel said. “Every week saved by NBAT for a new restaurant is one less week of rent and other expenses without earning revenues, which means these businesses start out in a stronger position to succeed and hire more New Yorkers.”

“The New Business Acceleration Team is proof that safety does not need to be compromised to quickly open a new business.  New York City has high standards for public safety, and this program allows those standards to be met, while simultaneously helping our economy to grow,” said Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano.

“Creating new businesses is critical to New York City’s economic growth, and we are proud to be a part of this effort to accelerate the process,” said Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri. “Construction projects typically involve multiple agencies and private contractors, and we have taken key steps to reduce the time it takes to obtain permits and open for business, including the launch of the NYC Development Hub where digital plans are being received and reviewed for the first time in our history. Faster approvals mean New Yorkers can get back to work faster – and that benefits all of us.”

“The City’s New Business Acceleration Program is clearly showing its value making it easier for entrepreneurs to create jobs in New York City,” said Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland. “Though the start-up work is done faster, new businesses still comply with all of our regulations so that we continue to protect the environment in the process. With our economy in the process of making a comeback, having government be part of the solution instead of the problem is the right priority.”

“New York is a restaurant city and just like our highly successful letter grading system, the New Business Acceleration Program provides prospective restaurateurs with the tools necessary for success,” said Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “We welcome new restaurants and love to see A’s in their windows.”

“It’s a joy to welcome Modesto Ramirez’s Tacos Tulcingo to Jackson Heights. Taco Tulcingo is now the 500th restaurant to open its doors thanks to the New Business Acceleration Team Program, which has been such an effective public-private partnership between small business owners and the City of New York,” said Congressman Joe Crowley. “Mr. Ramirez’s story is a truly American story. He arrived in New York seeking a better life for his family; he worked hard and is now opening his own restaurant, becoming his own boss, and living the American Dream. It’s great to have him and his business in our community.”

 “The New York City Council and the Bloomberg Administration, collaborating with restaurateurs across the five boroughs are making great strides towards taking the red-tape out of opening a business,” said Council Member Diana Reyna, Chair of the Committee on Small Business. “Restaurants reflect the diversity of community and are vital to our neighborhoods by providing jobs, culture and cuisine.  The New Business Acceleration Team is focused on knocking down barriers in the path of men and women hoping to take a chance, follow a dream, and start a business.”

“The NBAT is an important partnership which provides important services to entrepreneurs looking to open a business in this great City,” stated Council Member Julissa Ferreras. “We need to continue providing this kind of support to our entrepreneurs, so they can open their doors, create jobs and achieve their own American Dream.”

“The New Business Acceleration Program is truly innovative and takes a forward thinking approach to assisting businesses get off the ground in a much more efficient manner,” said Council Member Karen Koslowitz. “By working as a partner with new restaurants, city government is helping entrepreneurs during these tough times. I applaud Speaker Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership on the success of this important initiative.”

“The restaurant industry is vital to the economy and the social landscape of New York City,” said Andrew Rigie, Executive Vice President for NYC at the New York State Restaurant Association. “The success of the New Business Acceleration Team in opening new restaurants faster and more efficiently strengthens our economy and ensures that New York City remains a culinary capital of the world.”

Because of the proven success of the New Business Acceleration Team in assisting restaurants cut through red tape and open their doors sooner and more efficiently, the City is expanding the program to reach even more businesses. Currently, all new restaurants in Manhattan are required to participate, but the program remains optional for those opening businesses in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. By the end of 2012, the New Business Acceleration Team will be able to support all restaurants that open or change ownership in the five boroughs, making it easier for approximately 4,700 restaurants each year to do business with City government. In addition to restaurants, the program will also begin working with businesses in other economic sectors. The New Business Acceleration Team, on a pilot basis, has already helped three retailers in the City open their doors faster, including a newly-established Modell’s Sporting Goods Store on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

The New Business Acceleration Team is an integral part of the Administration and the City Council’s efforts to make it easier for businesses to work with City and is only one facet of the City’s comprehensive, multifaceted approach to help businesses generate jobs and spur economic growth. Recently, the Buildings Department launched the Development Hub, a new, high-tech initiative that has dramatically reduced the time it takes building developers to obtain approval for their construction projects. The City also created the NYC Business Express online portal, which offers business owners and entrepreneurs the information they need to open and operate a business as well as the opportunity to apply for permits, licenses and certifications and to check violation statuses online. Additionally, the City Council hosted 7 Credit Ready Credit Fairs this past year in all five boroughs to help current and aspiring business owners gain access to credit.

To learn more about the New Business Acceleration Team program or how to participate, visit or call 311.


Stu Loeser/Julie Wood   (212) 788-2958


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