‘NYC BEST’ Initiative Has Served More Than 2,200 Small Businesses; Five-Borough ‘Small Business Month’ Tour Brings Small Business Education, Recruitment, Financing Assistance, and More Directly to Communities; New Data Shows 99.7 Percent of Private Sector Jobs Lost During Pandemic Recovered
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim today kicked off “Small Business Month” by announcing that the NYC Business Express Service Team (BEST) initiative has helped save New York City small businesses more than $22 million by avoiding fines and violations. Since the free program’s launch, NYC BEST has assisted more than 2,200 diverse businesses across the five boroughs by providing small businesses with one-on-one expert support to help business owners not only resolve or avoid fines and violations, but also save time and money navigating city government rules and regulations, as well as expedite permit and licensing processes. Among the businesses served is Leidylicious Cakes, a new bakery in Queens, where the mayor also announced the launch of “Small Business Month” to promote New York City’s diverse small businesses throughout the month of May, expanding on “National Small Business Week” recognized each year.
“New York City is where dreams are made, and we want every small business to get their slice of that dream,” said Mayor Adams. “That is why, in my first few months in office, I signed the Small Business Forward Executive Order, which cut red tape and removed bureaucratic boulders for small businesses across the five boroughs. I am proud to announce that since the beginning of our administration, we have assisted more than 2,200 businesses through our NYC BEST initiative — expediting permit and licensing processes and helping small businesses save $22 million by avoiding fines and violations. Working New Yorkers deserve their fair share, and we are lifting burdens off hardworking New Yorkers so they can get their businesses up and running, while simultaneously putting money back into their pockets. We are adding the right ingredients to make small businesses grow in New York City. This Small Business Month, I encourage every New Yorker to go out and support your neighborhood stores, and, most importantly, spend money!”
“Small Business Month is a celebration and affirmation of the extraordinary shops, restaurants, and venues that make our city special, and it is an opportunity to showcase the impressive array of supports, programs, and grants that Small Business Services offers,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “Over the last year, our economic and small businesses recovery has truly taken hold and I’m proud of SBS programs like the Business Express Service Team for helping businesses in every neighborhood launch and thrive.”
“SBS is expanding the celebration of small businesses to a full month, but we work every day to lift up business owners who keep our communities thriving,” said SBS Commissioner Kim. “In the past 16 months, we’ve slashed bureaucratic red tape and saved millions for small businesses, helped diverse businesses contract with city government agencies at record levels, and launched a $75 million NYC Opportunity Fund — the largest public/private partnership loan fund directed to small businesses in New York City history. New York City is back!”
“One in nine businesses in New York City started in the last year, which is a testimony to the strength of the small business community and entrepreneurial nature of New Yorkers,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President and CEO Andrew Kimball. “Small businesses are core to Mayor Adams’ Blueprint for Economic Recovery and a reason why New York is adding jobs faster than any other big city in the country.”
“We are delighted to celebrate the growing success of BEST, and the needed regulatory relief it offers to the small businesses that serve as the true engines of our city’s can-do-economy,” said New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) Director and City Planning Commission (CPC) Chair Dan Garodnick. “At City Planning, we are working on another mayoral priority, the ‘City of Yes for Economic Opportunity,’ which, if adopted by the City Council, would remove hundreds of outdated zoning rules that today serve only to handicap small businesses.”
“A meaningful part of my charge as New York City’s first-ever citywide chief business diversity officer is to ensure that we create an environment that’s responsive to the needs of our small businesses — the backbone of our city,” said Citywide Chief Business Diversity Officer Michael J. Garner. “Our small businesses are not only reflective of the great diversity that makes this the greatest city in the world, but are also critical to promoting healthy communities, providing opportunities to New York City’s talented workforce, building generational wealth, and ensuring a stable tax base. I stand with Mayor Eric Adams in his commitment to small businesses via the New York City Business Express Service Team and our aggressive goals for the New York City M/WBE program in awarding $25 billion in contracts to city certified M/WBEs by Fiscal Year 2026 and $60 billion by Fiscal Year 2030.”
“Leidylicious is the realization of a dream I’ve had since I started baking at nine years old, and opening this new door surrounded by friends, family, Mayor Adams and SBS makes the experience even sweeter,” said Leidy Cardona, owner, Leidylicious Bakery. “Thanks to the help I received with licenses and permits from SBS’ NYC BEST team, my vision became a reality even faster and I am happy to now share it with all of you during Small Business Month and beyond!”
Small Business Month also kicks off as New York City continues to experience a massive economic boomerang, with the city’s having recovered 99.7 percent of pre-pandemic private sector jobs — a comeback once predicted to take until 2025 or later — according to the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL). A 100 percent recovery — which is projected to be just weeks away — will mark a record for the highest number of private sector jobs across the five boroughs in New York City’s history.
New data from NYSDOL also shows the city has recovered more than 91 percent of accommodation and food services jobs — one of the hardest-hit industries by the pandemic — with its being the fastest growing private sector industry in the city this year.
From corner retail to professional consulting firms, small businesses help power New York City’s economy and have been a major driver of the city’s recent recovery. They contribute to the city’s dynamism — making neighborhoods unique and providing income to New Yorkers across the five boroughs. According to the EDC, 94 percent of all private firms in New York City are small businesses, 25,000 small businesses started in New York City between the recovery period of the second quarter (Q2) of 2020 – Q2 2022, and approximately 1 million people are employed by small businesses in New York City. The Adams administration is therefore dedicated to continuing work to make New York City a small business haven. ‘City of Yes for Economic Opportunity’ seeks to modernize zoning to make it easier for small businesses to open and to expand. The in-the-works proposal would, for the first time, proactively allow small producers — like bakeries, breweries, ceramic studios, dress makers, and more — locate and grow in commercial corridors closer to where New Yorkers live and shop.
Small Business Month is an opportunity for all New Yorkers to come together and support small businesses — particularly new businesses that have launched since the pandemic. In a series of celebrations, community events, and workshops, Small Business Month will bring small business education, worker recruitment, financing assistance, resiliency preparedness, and other programs directly into commercial corridors throughout the five boroughs, while encouraging New Yorkers to support the locally-owned shops that make New York City unique.
A full calendar of May Small Business Month events can be found online.