Small Business & Entrepreneurs

As a mayor with a background as an entrepreneur, Mike Bloomberg worked hard to make it easier to start and grow a business in New York City – and to connect more people to those jobs. This resulted in major new investment opportunities for small businesses, as well as a record level of job placements during the midst of the national economic recession.

Increased job placements
Increased career placements from 500 placements in 2004 to 29,000 placements in 2012.
NYC Business Solutions
Created NYC Business Solutions Centers, which offer free services that serve nearly 10,000 businesses annually.
Business Improvement Districts
Formed 24 new Business Improvement Districts.

Progress: Small Business & Entrepreneurs


Created Department of Small Business Services: To serve NYC’s 200,000 small businesses. Mayor Bloomberg eliminated the Department of Employment and merged job placement and business development services under one roof at the new agency. The model has since been reprinted in other cities.


Built a Network of 17 Workforce1 Career Centers: One-stop employment and training centers were created and targeted at growing economic sectors.

Increased Annual Job Placements: Job placements increased from 500 placements in 2004 to more than 29,000 placements in 2012.

Invested in Training: Workforce1 Career Centers helped more than 138 businesses train 3,870 employees for average wage gains of 15%.

Focus on Veterans: In July 2012, Workforce1 began providing priority job placement and career assistance services to veterans and their spouses. In 2012, Workforce1 helped place more than 1,200 veterans and spouses in jobs.


Launched NYC Business Express: Created under the Bloomberg administration, this one-stop online tool helps entrepreneurs start a business in NYC.

Launched New Business Acceleration Team: The team worked to streamline the City’s permitting process and helped more than 1,500 restaurants open an average of 2-3 months ahead of schedule.

Created NYC Business Solutions: Free services for businesses were provided in seven centers that serve nearly 10,000 businesses annually.

Launched Set of Business Education Courses : To help entrepreneurs start or grow a business, new programs were developed with the Kauffman Foundation, Columbia University, and NYU.

Built Out a Capital Access Program: In 2012 alone, SBS helped over 600 customers access more than 650 financing awards totaling more than $63 million in capital.

Formed Partnerships with Pro-bono Attorneys: Legal referrals to 400+ businesses saved an average $1,300 each.

Founded NYC Bank Advisory Council: Together, 10 banks increased access to capital for small businesses.

Launched Small Business Digital Toolkit: Launched in the summer of 2012, the Small Business Digital Toolkit provides small businesses with courses and tools to help them grow their presence online, through social media, and leverage technological resources. 

Business Owner Bill of Rights: A bill of rights was created setting forth standards that encourage more constructive interactions between small business owners and agency inspectors.

Inspector Training: The Bloomberg administration developed and introduced new customer service training modules for agency inspectors to enhance the relationship between City agencies and entities they regulate.


Grew Business Improvement District (BID) Program: The Bloomberg administration formed 24 new BID’s, 20 outside of Manhattan. BIDs are a key public/private partnership in New York City. They help to revitalize neighborhoods and catalyze economic development throughout the City.

Revitalizing Commercial Areas: The Bloomberg administration invested $29 million on between 2002 and 2013 for commercial revitalization in low - and moderate -income areas.

Launched Neighborhood Leadership Program: Since launching in 2011, the program helped train 58 local economic development leaders across NYC.


Signed Local Law 129: The 2005 law created aspirational goals for City purchasing from minority and women owned business enterprises, M/WBEs.

Grew Pool of Certified M/WBEs: The number of minority and women owned business certified to do business with the City grew from 800 to over 3,700.

Increased Contracts Awarded to M/WBEs: Since Local Law 129 passed, the value of contracts awarded to minority and women owned business grew to $3.5 billion awarded since 2005.

Signed Local Law 1 in January, 2013: The law strengthened the minority and women owned businesses program by removing the $1 million cap on contracts, and increasing the overall value of program-eligible contracts from $400 million to $2.2 billion.

Compete To Win: In February 2012, Mayor Bloomberg launched Compete to Win, a capacity-building program for minority and women-owned businesses which helped expand economic opportunities for businesses throughout the five boroughs.