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Freelancers Union Opens Its Doors: A Hub for NYC's Independent Workforce

In Partnership with Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, Freelancers Union Celebrates Grand Opening of 4,143- Square Foot Free Co-Working Hub in Industry City, Brooklyn

Brooklyn, NY — The Freelancers Union, in partnership with the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), today officially unveils its new Freelancers Hub, a 4,143- square foot state-of-the-art facility located in Industry City, Brooklyn. This new facility, made possible by $1.5 million in funding from The City of New York, is dedicated to NYC's freelance community across the five boroughs.

The Freelancers Hub, the largest hub in the U.S. dedicated to independent workers, features rooms to host workshops, isolated spaces for meetings, and a dedicated on-site Freelancers Union staff to help independent workers understand their rights and raise their concerns. The new location at Industry City, located along the scenic waterfront in Brooklyn's Sunset Park, already fosters a community of creatives, innovators, and thinkers and will open its doors to all freelancers who need a space to work and socialize, serving as an ideal convening center for freelancers to collaborate and network.

In 2018, in partnership with MOME, Freelancers Union launched Freelancers Hub, a free coworking space and training and resource center for freelancers. Freelancers Union will use its new space to prepare the growing independent workforce for successful careers in project-based work. Utilizing the space to offer workshops and boot camps taught by freelance experts - ranging from legal clinics and branding, to mental health and wellness, as well as peer-to-peer networking and mentorship - to provide workers with the best, most up-to-date tools and resources.

"NYC is the city of Freelancers," said Freelancers Union Executive Director, Rafael Espinal. "From newly arrived immigrants starting small businesses, new college grads with a toolbox of skills in design and marketing to seasoned professionals leaving the 9-5 workforce to gain autonomy over their personal lives, NYC continues to be one step ahead of the curve to ensure it is the fairest and most equitable place for those working independently. That's why we are so thrilled to provide this exciting space to host our workforce and to offer opportunities for community, collaboration, and convening. We are thankful for the support from the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and are thrilled to build a new home for the freelance community right here in Brooklyn."

"As we work to build back a more equitable economy in New York City, supporting freelance workers is critical," said Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer. "The Adams administration is pleased to join the Freelancers Union in celebrating the grand opening of the Freelancers Hub's new location in Industry City, which will provide meaningfulresources for this community to grow and thrive."

"We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of the new home of the Freelancers Hub at Industry City, the site of a growing community of creative entrepreneurs and innovative start-ups," said the NYC Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner, Anne del Castillo. "Independent workers, which comprised more than 60% of NYC's media and entertainment workforce pre-COVID, are a vital component of New York's creative economy. As we continue to rebuild our creative sectors, this new hub provides our freelance community with space to convene, work, network and gain access to a variety of resources that will help them succeed."

"Our city recognizes that freelancers are a vital part of our ever-evolving economy – from the Freelance Isn't Free Act which ensures workers are paid in full and on time, to our ongoing efforts to ensure freelancers understand their rights – and I am so excited to see independent workers gain this new and crucial space," said Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. "I applaud the Freelancers Union on the opening of this new hub, which will help freelance workers boost social cohesion, collaboration and build skills to help them thrive in our city's fast-paced industries."

"Freelancers Union has done tremendous work supporting the millions of freelancers across New York City and the country, and I am thrilled to join them in celebrating the opening of their new Freelancers Hub today," said NY State Senator Andrew Gounardes. "From Buffalo to Brooklyn, we must ensure New York's freelancers and contract workers are able to access the same resources and rights as any other worker, and establishing this center fills a crucial gap for New York City's freelance and contract workers. As we continue to fight for my statewide Freelance Isn't Free bill to be signed into law, I look forward to a future full of resources and community for New York's freelancers across the state."

"Freelancers are central to our city's economy and a cornerstone of their communities. They have for too long worked without many of the same infrastructure and supports as members of the traditional workforce," said Councilmember Chi Ossé. "The Freelancers Union has been integral to protecting their rights and providing stability, and the Hub will be an indispensable resource in allowing them to thrive. Today, New York became a stronger city, and I very much look forward to seeing workers reap the benefits of this special and necessary space."

"As an independent contractor, I find a ton of value in having a dedicated and free space in the city to work and meet other freelancers," said Freelancers Union Member, Eric Lee. "Having the support, resources, and benefits that a salaried employee might receive is a huge advantage. I'm very excited to have the Hub back!"