It comes as no surprise that the cost of doing business in New York City is extremely expensive, especially for small business owners. In an effort to strengthen the voice for NYC’s startup and small businesses, our friends at GoBizNYC have started a new initiative.
GoBizNYC is a coalition of small business owners and entrepreneurs that aim to reinforce the efforts of existing business advocacy organizations and to push for the formation of a Small Business Caucus in the City Council. GoBizNYC will be a resource to government leaders who are dedicated to the pursuit of policies that promote small business growth.
We chatted with Victor Wong of GoBizNYC, who filled us in on the growing initiative:
What challenges of starting and maintaining a small business is GoBizNYC trying to solve?
New York City has the highest cost of doing business in the country, owing to a heavy tax burden and a tough regulatory and legal environment. Additionally, escalating fines, penalties, and ticketing as well as difficulty navigating the city’s bureaucratic processes have been key challenges to starting, maintaining, and growing a small business in New York City. We aim to address these issues by bridging the communications gap between the small business community and city leaders.
What kind of businesses do you work with?
As a broad-based coalition, we work with any enterprise that considers itself to be a small business. Through our current network, we represent over 20,000 New York City businesses, including tech startups, mom-and-pop shops, and small firms in industries ranging from retail and manufacturing to food and professional services.
What does it mean to become a GoBizNYC supporter?
To be a GoBizNYC supporter means that you are invested in and willing to speak out on behalf of the New York City small business community. It means you are part of a deep pool of well-informed representatives willing to argue against anti-business proposals as well as speak out about the effects of over-regulation and promote policies that help business.
What is one piece of advice you would give to small business owner?
Speak out! As drivers of New York City’s economy and contributors to its tax base, you deserve to have your needs and concerns heard by your elected officials. To ensure that New York City remains a place where we can start and grow our businesses and create jobs, we all need to come together to become forceful advocates for the small business community.
What are some of the advantages of being a small business owner in NYC?
This is a city of innovation with strong market opportunities to boot. Given the dynamism, diversity, and size of the population, there are always new demands to meet and opportunities to pursue. New Yorkers take pride in the fact that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. For a New York City small business owner, that holds doubly true.
What’s your favorite fun fact on NYC small businesses?
Immigrants, who represent over a third of the total population in New York City, make up nearly half of all small business owners in the city. That means immigrants are substantial contributors to the city’s entrepreneurial base. Clearly, New York City continues to be a melting pot as well as a gateway to the American Dream.
How does manufacturing fit into the NYC ecosystem?
Though its prominence has declined significantly over the past decade, manufacturing remains an important source of opportunity for New York City entrepreneurs, artisans, and semi-skilled workers. While traditional manufacturing likely won’t occupy more than a small niche in the city’s economy, there is an opportunity for advanced manufacturing and artisan enterprise—areas where the city has a clear competitive advantage—to play a greater economic role moving forward. That’s why we are so supportive of the work Maker’s Row is doing in this space and are proud to have you as a GoBizNYC supporter.
What is your favorite spot in NYC?
I can’t choose just one! I’ve been trekking across the five boroughs to meet with small business owners and have been so impressed by the sheer variety of goods and services I’ve come across, from authentic ethnic cuisine and specialty-wear apparel to masterful tailoring and innovative technology solutions. That’s what’s so great about this city—whatever it is you’re looking for, we have it. And we want to keep it that way.
To become a GoBizNYC supporter, sign up at www.GoBizNYC.org/join
Maker’s Row is a supporter!