New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer on Tuesday released a comprehensive, neighborhood-by-neighborhood analysis of the City’s economy since 2000, revealing both positive and negative trends for business growth across the five boroughs.

The report, The New Geography of Jobs: A Blueprint for Strengthening Our Neighborhoods, is the first-of-its-kind for the City, and shows that, overall, the number of businesses in the city’s 15 top-gentrifying neighborhoods grew 45 percent from 2000 to 2015 – a 45 percent jump. The biggest increases in business growth were in:

  • Central Harlem– 90 percent
  • Crown Heights North and Prospect Heights– 84 percent
  • Crown Heights South, Prospect Lefferts and Wingate– 67 percent
  • Greenpoint and Williamsburg– 64 percent

Entrepreneurial activity and new business development in New York’s 22 low-income neighborhoods experienced a 41 percent increase from 2000 to 2015 — far outpacing the 12 percent jump in the city’s 33 higher-income neighborhoods, including the downtown and midtown Central Business Districts, which fell overall from 39 percent to 31 percent.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”As business activity accelerates across the city, we have to do far more to connect local residents to career pathways and entrepreneurship opportunities.”[/perfectpullquote]

Gentrification effectively fueled a 100 percent increase in the number of professional and technical services businesses, as well as information businesses, which expanded by 97 percent. The growth of these industries led the job expansion in low-income communities, and provide many medium- and high-wage jobs.

However, despite tremendous business growth in the City’s rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods between 2000 and 2015, the benefits of increased economic activity have not been broadly distributed among all of the boroughs’ residents, according to the report.

In gentrifying neighborhoods, 21 percent of Black and Hispanic youth ages 18-24 are still out of school and out of work, compared to just 12 percent of Whites. Ten percent of Black and 9 percent of Hispanic adults ages 25-65 are still unemployed, versus 3 percent of Whites.

The report found that in reason years, from 2007 to 2012, minority-owned businesses did experienced an uptick in in growth across every borough. Still, although minorities own 34 percent of all city businesses with employees, these establishments account for only 21 percent of business employment and 16 percent of revenue.

Additionally, while the number of minority-owned business overall increased across the city, Black-owned businesses declined from 2007 to 2012. This downward trend also stands in contrast to the national average of Black-owned businesses, which grew by 2.4 percent between 2007 and 2012. In fact, among the 25 largest cities in the United States with over 500 Black-owned businesses, New York City is one of three to see a decline.

The Comptroller points to gentrification, increasing rents and economic distress as factors that have had the most stark impact on the neighborhood’s with the highest concentration of Black residents.

“As the jobs landscape changes, we need to do everything possible to support those who helped build their communities in the first place,” said Stringer. “To avoid pricing people out of their own neighborhoods, we need to deliver real, meaningful, local wealth creation.”

The comptroller’s report offers a series of recommendations for reconciling the economic disparity for Black residents and Black-owned businesses, as the economy accelerates, including strengthening the pipeline between local businesses and residents, as well as improving collaboration among workforce development providers. Other recommendations included:

  • Creating a uniform assessment tool to ensure a clear entryway into the workforce development system
  • Leveraging data to connect with local businesses
  • Helping entrepreneurs graduate to storefronts
  • Assisting with business succession for retiring business owners
  • Helping solo entrepreneurs scale up

“As business activity accelerates across the city, we have to do far more to connect local residents to career pathways and entrepreneurship opportunities,” Stringer said.

The Comptroller’s analysis also contains an economic snapshots of each individual neighborhood in New York City, showing how local economies and populations shifted between 2000 and 2015.

Stay tuned tomorrow, when we will survey the neighborhood-by-neighborhood break down of the trends in employment and economic growth across the BK Reader neighborhoods of Central and East Brooklyn.

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