The Most Delicious Sector of the Economy
There is no shortage of food options in New York City.
With food as creative and diverse as pizza, bagels, sushi, empanadas, artisanal cheese, and all of the ethnic offerings in between, New York City is rightfully called the food capital of the world.
The business of food is booming throughout the five boroughs. Food service is how young entrepreneurs, immigrants and natives alike, connect their heritage with their city. Add local artisans, street vendors, and restaurateurs, major food manufacturers, and vast distribution networks to the mix, and we see how food is a vital part of New York City’s economy.
NYCEDC’s Economic Research & Analysis unit recently issued its monthly Economic Snapshot, which showed how culinary innovation clusters are emerging around the five boroughs. This is particularly true in East Williamsburg, Sunset Park, and Bensonhurst in Brooklyn, Hunts Point in the Bronx, and Jamaica, Queens. Small food businesses are blossoming around the city, putting a bigger share of the market in the hands of smaller entrepreneurs.
To help encourage these innovators, NYCEDC offers a wide array of support for New York City’s food entrepreneurs.
The Hunt’s Point Food Distribution Center in the Bronx handles nearly half the city’s meat, fish, and produce before it moves into our restaurants and shops. The city recently allocated $25 million to increase resiliency efforts at this NYCEDC-managed facility,ensuring that food distribution doesn’t get disrupted in the wake of a storm.
NYCEDC-managed local markets---from Arthur Avenue in the Bronx to Essex Street and La Marqueta---provide small retail space that is affordable, and otherwise difficult to find in New York City’s real estate scene, to young entrepreneurs. At East Harlem’s La Marqueta, we’ve partnered with Hot Bread Kitchen, which helps immigrant women become economically independent by training them to bake and sell ethnic breads, to develop a food incubator for start-up businesses.
We also provide funding, mentorship and affordable workspace to young culinary businesses. For example, our NYC Food Manufacturers Growth Fund provides affordable financing to small food manufacturers, while the Fancy Food Fellowship offers four immigrant food and beverage manufacturing-entrepreneurs city-sponsored booths at the 2015 Summer Fancy Food Show.
And to make sure that all New Yorkers have easy access to fresh produce, our Food Retail Expansion to Support Health (FRESH) program helps provide zoning upgrades and financial incentives to help eligible grocery store operators set up shop in underserved communities around the city.
New York City has rarely tasted better. Learn more about some of our programs that are helping to grow successful businesses in this delicious industry.