"The next two bills before me are Introductory Number 431, sponsored at my request by Council Members Sanders, Comrie, Fidler and Recchia; and Introductory Number 597, sponsored at my request by Council Members Sanders, Comrie, Seabrook and Weprin. These bills authorize the City to submit to the State of New York an application to expand the East Brooklyn and East Harlem Empire Zones, respectively.
"The Empire Zone program, established by the New York State legislature in 1986, is designed to target those areas of New York facing significant poverty and unemployment. Through a variety of state tax incentives and utility discounts, the Empire Zone program seeks to stimulate private investment, business development and job creation in these distressed areas-- at no cost to the City.
"Introductory Number 431 expands the East Brooklyn Empire Zone by approximately 242 acres and is expected to generate 750 new jobs, retain over 600 existing jobs and generate nearly $12 million in private investment.
"Introductory Number 597 expands the East Harlem Empire Zone by approximately 717 acres and is expected to generate more than 6,000 new jobs, retain nearly 600 jobs, and generate over $700 million in private investment.
"These bills are prime examples of how the State and the City can work together to stimulate development at the local level and provide benefits for all.
"I would like to thank Chris Manning from legislative affairs, Deputy Commissioner Andrew Schwartz, Assistant Commissioner Michael Smith, and Yoonie Cho, the Empire Zone Program Director from the Department of Small Business Services for their hard work on this legislation."