Announcing the Industrial Business Advisory Council
By Miquela Craytor, Director, Industrial Initiatives, Center for Economic Transformation
The Industrial Business Advisory Council, a cornerstone of the Bloomberg Administration’s initiatives to support the industrial sector, is set for its first meeting on August 1. This advisory body will ferment the working relationship between industrial businesses and the City agencies and policies that support them.
The City’s industrial sector plays an important role in diversifying the City’s economy, providing well-paying jobs to New Yorkers and enabling local consumption. Responsible for developing, producing, storing, distributing, and recycling goods, the diverse industrial sector will now be represented by 16 members serving two-year terms. The members—nominated by the public—range from academics, to successful developers, but are predominately business owners. Prominent members include Limor Fried, founder of Adafruit Industries, the Manhattan-based open source hardware company; Andrew Kimball, President of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, an Industrial Business Zone known for its innovative businesses; and Mike Schwartz, co-founder of Bad Ass Organics, a Long Island City-based food line and organic culinary incubator.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Industrial Desk, with the support of City Hall, will act as the convening body for these quarterly meetings. The Desk will leverage its Interagency Industrial Steering Committee to better involve the business community in the formation of policy and regulation rollouts. These efforts are part of a larger effort announced in June 2011 to reinvigorate New York City’s industrial sector. The new programs and initiatives fall into three categories: Increasing access to updated, affordable, and right-sized industrial spaces; creating new financing resources and increasing access to existing programs; and better aligning City resources with industrial businesses’ needs. These initiative categories were developed through data analysis from industrial studies as well as through extensive interviews with business owners, on-the-ground technical assistance providers, and industry leaders.
In all, these initiatives will result in activating, modernizing and/or preserving up to 9 million square feet of industrial space, creating and/or retaining up to 30,000 direct and indirect, industrial or industrial-driven jobs (on-going and construction) over the next 20 years, and generating $150 million in gross direct fiscal revenues for the City by 2021.