Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh today unveiled a new resource for entrepreneurs to make it easier for them to identify and take advantage of the 44 City, State and Federal programs that can help them locate or expand within the five boroughs.
The NYC Business Express Incentives Estimator – available through nyc.gov – enables small business owners to learn about the myriad financing assistance programs available to them by entering basic information in one place. The new tool is part of NYC Business Express, which allows business owners to set up personal accounts to apply and receive permits and get the other help they need to start and grow their businesses. Mayor Bloomberg made the announcement at a swearing-in ceremony for the new leadership of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce held at the Bronx Zoo.
“The City, State and Federal government offer dozens of valuable programs to help small businesses locate and expand in New York City, but most don’t know where to go to learn about them or how to assess what they could mean for their bottom line. The new Incentives Estimator changes that,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “It levels the playing field for businesses by making information about incentives more transparent and more accessible. Business owners shouldn’t have to ‘know the right people’ or spend lots of money on consultants to access these incentives. They should be easy to locate, and now, thanks to this new tool, they are.”
“Businesses are often unaware of the various incentives available to help offset costs. The Incentives Estimator is an efficient way to access this information and learn about these programs,” said Commissioner Walsh. “The primary goals of NYC Business Express are to make starting, operating and expanding a business in New York City clearer, faster and simpler.”
The Incentives Estimator is an online application that assesses business owners’ eligibility for 44 incentive programs. It also provides estimated pro-forma calculations of benefits for eight programs, allowing businesses to get an estimated dollar amount on potential savings. Over the next seven months, the Incentives Estimator will grow to include calculations of estimated benefits for an additional 16 incentive programs.
NYC Business Express was initiated in 2005 as an extension of the success of NYC Business Solutions and 311. It enables businesses to learn about the permits, licenses, and requirements needed to start; operate or expand a business in New York City; receive customized information about City, State, and Federal incentives; apply and pay for at least 33 licenses, permits and certifications from multiple City agencies; and save information about their business in order to manage interactions with the City, such as status of applications, permits, outstanding balances and inspection dates. Twenty City agencies have worked together to build NYC Business Express.
NYC Business Express provides advice and information for over 97 percent of the City’s business sectors including food & beverage services; retail; professional, scientific, and technical services; arts, entertainment & recreation; wholesale trade; health care; administrative & support services; finance & insurance; real estate; rental & leasing; construction; manufacturing; transportation; warehousing & storage; management of companies & enterprises; social assistance; educational services and accommodations.
Earlier this year, the Department of Small Business Services and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, the Department of Buildings and the Environmental Control Board launched personal account capabilities on NYC Business Express that enables businesses to access status information that relates to their businesses. From their accounts on NYC Business Express, businesses can search for and access the most up-to-date information available about their certification status for the Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise program, the Locally-based Enterprise program or the Emerging Business Enterprise program. NYC Business Express customers can also retrieve the status of property jobs and gas authorization, and access property profile information. Additionally, businesses can search for Environmental Control Board violation information by violation number and pay for the violations through their NYC Business Express account.
NYC Business Express is intended to help businesses deal with unanticipated fines and inspections, waiting in line, carrying documents between agencies, hiring expeditors and consultants as well as replace burdensome manual, hand-written application forms and in-person visits per year. Since its inception, NYC Business Express has received close to 300,000 visits and more than 11,000 accounts have been registered.