“The first bill before me is Introductory Number 421-A, sponsored at the request of the Administration by Council Members White, Comrie, Fidler, Gentile, James, Vann, Palma, Weprin, Mark-Viverito, Sears and Dickens. This bill authorizes an application for redesignation of certain boundaries within the City as Empire Zones.
“The Empire Zones Program was established in 1986 to benefit certain areas of New York State that face long-term unemployment and pervasive poverty. In 2005, the New York State Legislature made significant changes to the program by extending the benefits to June 30, 2011 and also requiring that all individual Empire Zones consist of no more than three distinct and contiguous areas, except for areas previously designated as development zones. Of the eighty-six Empire Zones designated throughout New York State, eleven are in the City. Introductory Number 421-A reconfigures the boundaries of ten of the City’s Empire Zones and in some cases expands the zones to capture the recently established Industrial Business Zones.
“The Empire Zone program is designed to stimulate private investment, business development and job creation through a variety of incentives offered by New York State in the form of wage, real estate, sales and investment tax credits among others. This program really does offer the City’s businesses a chance to save some real money to help them grow.
“I would like to thank Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Rob Walsh, Director Carl Hum of the Mayor’s Office of Industrial and Manufacturing Businesses and their staffs, for all their hard work not only on this piece of legislation but also for working within these communities to ensure the greatest benefit to the maximum number of businesses. I would also like to thank the Council for approving this bill.”