Mayor Eric Adams revealed an economic development plan Thursday aimed at fast-tracking city development plans, offering increased support to small businesses and marketing the city as a tourism destination.
The plan accompanied the announcement of a $140 million investment in the Hunts Point Cooperative Market, the Bronx wholesale hub that provides much of the city’s meat and produce.
Adams said the plan — called “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery” — was part of his administration’s effort to consider how the city’s economy will work in the wake of the pandemic, as patterns for commuting and commerce change.
“We’re going to take this opportunity to reboot our entire system,” Adams said, speaking at the market.
The plan aims to “dramatically increase” the flow of city contracts to businesses owned by minorities and women, referred to as M/WBEs, primarily by improving city tracking of such businesses and supporting an existing state proposal to increase the size of a contract the city can award to an M/WBE from $500,000 to $1.5 million.
The plan also states that the city will create a $75 million loan fund for small businesses and increase support to business initiative districts with budgets under $500,000.
The plan also calls for the creation of a city task force that will issue in three months recommendations for eliminating inefficiencies in the city’s development process.
“We need to do this because we have to make sure we aren't slowing down our economic recovery,” said Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer, who authored the plan.
The plan also addresses and expands on efforts begun in the last mayoral administration to improve city services to small businesses, expand worker training and draw investments from major industries like life sciences.
The investment in Hunts Point, made over five years, will direct $100 million to upgrade the 55-year-old facillity and $40 million for local infrastructure and open space, according to the mayor's office.
In 2015, former Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $150 million investment over 12 years at Hunts Point. The city has also applied for federal grants to fund climate resiliency projects in Hunts Point, including flood-proofing the market.
Adams’ plan proposes cutting opening times for small businesses in half, launching an online portal for business needs, and adding a one-stop “concierge” service for people opening new businesses — proposals identical to an initiative announced under de Blasio in June 2021.
Adams, who has advocated for office workers to return to the city’s commercial centers and has pushed business leaders to speed up their return-to-office plans, appeared to soften his stance on what future work habits might look like.
“It is going to take us some time before we define what” a post-COVID city looks like, Adams said, adding that the city has to look at the intitatives in the plan, “five-day workweek or not."