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City of New York Announces Best For NYC Honorees, Celebrating New York City Businesses Working to Improve Quality of Life For Workers And Strengthen Their Bottom-Line


1,200 Businesses Reaching Over 65,000 Workers Have Taken Part in Assessment  

Innovative Approach to Addressing Income Inequality Empowers Businesses with Leading Tools to Increase Competitiveness and Improve Job Quality

 

The City of New York today announced the honorees of Best for NYC, a campaign and set of business tools and services created by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and B Lab designed to inspire and equip New York City businesses to measure and improve business practices that help create well-paying jobs and improve the quality of life in all five boroughs, while also strengthening their bottom-line.  Since its launch in spring 2015 the program has reached more than 1,200 businesses—exceeding the goal of 500 businesses—that are taking steps to improve job quality and economic opportunity for their more than 65,000 workers.  Of the Best for NYC Finalists, 100 businesses have been recognized by B Lab as Honorees for earning the top scores among all businesses competing to be Best for NYC. The list of Finalists and Honorees published by B Lab can be found here.    

Using B Lab’s Impact Assessment, the leading global tool for measuring, benchmarking and improving economic and social impact, Best for NYC participants were able to assess their practices on issues such as diversity and inclusion, compensation, benefits and governance, and compare their businesses to more than 20,000 others to establish best practices. Businesses were able to identify opportunities to improve their competitive position by investing in better practices, and in doing so, improve their workplace and communities. Best for NYC stems from recommendations made in the Career Pathways report created by New York City’s Jobs For New Yorkers task force, and the campaign leverages the global campaign led by B Lab to support businesses in measuring social and environmental impacts.    

"Best for NYC looks beyond the companies that do well to honor those across New York City that also do good,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer.  “Whether the participating businesses are looking to improve the quality of life of their workers, or strengthen their communities or the environment, these honorees have taken steps to help make the City a better place, and to do what’s best for the people of New York City.”  

“We are proud that so many businesses from such a wide range of industries have stepped up in this inaugural year. These businesses are embracing the spirit that all business owners and operators, regardless of the type or size of business, have an important role in ensuring that our city is both thriving and an equitable place for all.” said Andrew Kassoy, Co-Founder of B Lab.

“The Best for NYC Awards advance the City’s vision of Career Pathways by helping to improve job quality for working New Yorkers,” said Barbara Chang, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development.  “By partnering with employers to champion and adopt ‘high road’ practices, the Best for NYC program makes it easier for businesses to invest in their employees while also improving their bottom line.”

"Next Street is proud to have had the opportunity to partner with NYCEDC and B Lab for the Best for NYC Challenge" said Jon Aram, Next Street CEO and founder.  "As a B-corp certified company, we understand how critical it is for urban small businesses to build a plan for growth that enables them to broaden their social and environmental impact." 

“Even as companies in Brooklyn are creating more jobs than ever before, serious disparities in income and wealth remain,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Only a few miles from townhouses that are selling for more than $10 million are neighborhoods where the unemployment rate for young men exceeds twenty-eight percent. This campaign has the potential to ensure that the Brooklyn brand translates into prosperity for all by supporting business practices that generate not only higher wages but also more profits, allowing companies in Brooklyn to expand and build a stable foundation of workers who have the ability to pursue the American Dream.”    

"B Lab is a global leader in promoting businesses that have high standards for labor, environmental, and transparency practices, and their ‘B Corporation’ certification encourages consumers to support high ethical standards with their pocketbook,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “I am grateful that NYC EDC partnered with B Lab to focus in on New York City businesses, which are the economic engines of our communities, and I encourage New Yorkers to support the businesses on the "Best for NYC" list!"    

"Congratulations are in order for the Bronx-based businesses that are being recognized as Best for NYC Honorees and Finalists for their commitment to improving workers' quality of life, impacting their communities and dedication to quality services and products,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres. “Council District 15 is home to the Bronx Beer Hall, Cooperative Home Care Associates and Dirty Gloves Drain Services and we applaud their efforts and economic and social contributions to the Bronx.”

 “There is no greater feeling for a business owner than growing their bottom line while also creating a better work environment for their employees and improving New York City – and Best for NYC assists them in doing all of the above,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “The 1,200 Best for NYC participants and 100 honorees are shining examples of the amazing businesses we have across the five boroughs, and the Brooklyn Chamber was proud to be a partner in bringing this campaign to Brooklyn. Congratulations to NYCEDC and President Maria Torres-Springer, B Lab, and of course, all the Best for NYC participants.”

"This project has allowed us to support businesses and their employees to improve workplace quality,” said Jako Borren, Director of Program Operations, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp. “In working with NYCEDC and other Best for NYC partners, we have been able to reach many businesses and their workers with services that include financial counseling and income supports. Services that will improve their quality of life and eventually positively impact the business bottom line."

“SoBRO is proud to be a key partner in bringing Best for NYC to the Bronx business community. It has been inspiring to watch our business network embrace the concept of  Best for NYC.  We look forward to recognizing more Best for NYC Bronx-based businesses in 2016,” said Jamila Diaz, Assistant Vice President of Small Business Services, SoBro.

“At BOC, we know small businesses are leaders in shaping the quality of life for all New Yorkers,” said Nancy Carin, Executive Director, BOC Network. “We feel very privileged to play a role in the Best for NYC Campaign. And we will continue to support and bring attention to businesses that succeed by doing good in a diversity of ways that make a real difference to New York and beyond.”

Businesses that participated in the Best for NYC campaign benchmarked their practices using the B Impact Assessment, the leading global tool for measuring economic, social and environmental impact, and received access to customized tools and support services to improve their business operations. In total, 200 businesses were Finalists in the Best for NYC campaign, completing the full B Impact Assessment and documenting key practices and policies with B Lab staff.    

The Best for NYC network reflects businesses throughout all five boroughs, of every size and industry. Of the more than 200 businesses that are Best for NYC Finalists, 57 percent are minority or woman-owned, more than 60 percent of the businesses hire individuals who face barriers to employment, including people who have been incarcerated or have a criminal history, immigrants or refugees, or individuals with physical or mental disabilities.    

Best for NYC is the first-ever municipally-led impact campaign, developed by the City of New York in partnership with B Lab and locally-based business organizations, including NYC Business Solutions Centers and Industrial Providers in each of the five boroughs, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the Business Outreach Center Network, SoBro, NextStreet, and the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.    

The culmination of the first year of the Best for NYC campaign is also marked by the release of the inaugural Best for NYC list, which ranks participating New York City businesses by their positive impact on workers, community, and environment as measured by B Lab, the independent, third-party business organization that certifies B Corporations.  B Lab’s publication of the Best for NYC list localizes the annual B Corp Best for the World lists, released by B Lab every year since 2012 and featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., The Guardian, and other business publications.    

The City of New York will continue to celebrate the businesses that have participated in Best for NYC through a marketing campaign and online business directory available at www.bestfor.nyc. Current businesses will continue to receive support from program partners, and all New York City businesses will have the chance to participate in the 2016 Best for NYC campaign beginning this fall.

About NYCEDC

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

About B Lab

B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good.  Its vision is that one day all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world and society will enjoy prosperity for all for the long term.  

B Lab drives this systemic change by: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and good marketing; 2) passing benefit corporation legislation to give business leaders the freedom to create value for society as well as shareholders; 3) helping businesses measure, compare and improve their social and environmental performance with the free B Impact Assessment; 4) driving capital to impact investments through use of its B Analytics and GIIRS Ratings platform.

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Anthony Hogrebe/Ian Fried

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