Benefits of Running a Business in NYC

While Silicon Valley has for many years been the preferred choice of location for business development and operation, it seems that New York City is now being propelled as a great alternative.  According to a recent article in Business Insider by Zoë Bernard, here are some of the reasons why:

  1. One of the world centers for fashion and finance
  2. Fantastic pool of talent
  3. Venture capital environment with the likes of Hercules Capital, Insight Venture Partners and BetaWorks.
  4. Startup scene there has a real sense of community spirit with mentorship programs such as Oceans.
  5. Female founders have traditionally done well in NYC.
  6. Quite simply, because it is anywhere but Silicon Valley and that alone gives it an edge.

In addition, just looking at real estate transactions in the area over the last few years one can see the improvement in living and working conditions in NYC.  For example, a decade ago, it was not at all easy to get financing for mortgages due to the fiscal crisis.  But now, according to 3 World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein, that has all changed.  With 40 percent occupancy already, he pointed out that “these buildings never stay empty for long.” And corporations will want to go there since they “need technology and you can only get technology in brand-new buildings.”

Furthermore, as Alexandros Washburn said, every time there’s a crisis with New York, it bounces back, concluding that: “Every time it’s comes back with a better balance, more richness in the types of buildings that are here, the types of open spaces.”

Hedge Fund Reality: Death or Revitalization?

Eighteen months ago, finance experts believed the hedge fund industry was losing power as a global player in the finance world.  So much so that according to Tabby Kinder, the Hedge Fund Standards Board was “debating a name change in an effort to distance itself from a term that [had] become increasingly contentious.”

But that was last year. A lot can change in 12 months and today the hedge fund industry is bouncing back.  Rob Copeland wrote in a WSJ article:

“The average hedge fund is up 5.4% … while stock-focused hedge funds have gained 8.31%, [and] Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 11.9% including dividends, while the traditional 60-40 split of stocks and bonds would have earned 8.9%.”

Looking more closely at the winners in this hedge fund revitalization we see New York hedge fund Brahman Capital.  Copeland explains the story of Brahman Capital Corp’s rise of its “big bet on hedge-fund favorite Valeant Pharmaceuticals” that initially plummeted, resulting in Brahman’s own fall with investors taking their money out.  But then Brahman came back, selling the stock “and with what is now $3.8 billion of remaining cash pivoted to new ideas…[Today], Brahman’s main fund is up 17%.”

Copeland’s conclusion that “the gloom that had beset hedge funds [a couple of years ago] is [now] lifting and even giving way to outright optimism.”  Indeed, according to Pacific Alternative Asset Management Co partner Alper Ince, “it just feels better” and if Brahman Capital’s example is anything to go by, Ince’s words lead us to believe that the reality of hedge funds today is closer to revitalization than a near demise.

 

Caribbean Week New York

New York City has a substantial Caribbean-American residency.  As such, the Caribbean Week New York that begins tomorrow is very well-received and attended.

Organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), this is a great bolster to the economy with the attraction of VIPs, diplomats and others to the city to enjoy the free Revival for the Caribbean affair.  It will take place in Manhattan’s Financial District at 225 Liberty Street in the Meredith Global Corp’s 5th floor auditorium.

Programs include: “Revival for the Caribbean,” “Rum & Rhythm Benefit and Auction,” “Celebrity Chef Program” and more.

Growth of NY Economy

According to Xinhua News Agency, this month New York encountered a substantial growth in its business activity.  There was an increase to 20.1 points for its main index number, with the general business conditions index surpassed expectations by of 15.5.

In terms of people’s level of satisfaction/happiness at the office it was hard to tell as 40 percent claimed conditions had improved throughout May but 20 percent said they had worsened. There are more employees though with the index for the number going up to 8.7

The index for number of employees edged up three points to 8.7, with a drop in hours for the average workweek.  Perhaps even more importantly, there has been an increase in optimism for the next six months.

New York State, Taxes, Money

New York’s Environmental Protection Fund has made $350,000 available to supplement protection Hudson River’s natural resources.  This money – delegated by the DEC Hudson River Estuary Program – will be used to enhance water quality; counter flooding; conserve wildlife habitat.

in an effort to protect annual tax levy increases, the New York property-tax cap (that was implemented 7 years ago) puts a 2 percent cap/rate of inflation (whichever is lower) on taxes.  How does this impact us now?  For the 2018-19 academic year, average school districts cap is around 2.9 percent thanks to the exemptions with around 98 percent of districts being compliant.

According to NY Association of School Business Officials Executive Director Michael Borges:

“Although school districts have a higher cap this year than last, higher health and pension costs, coupled with economic instability due to federal policy changes, create an uncertain fiscal picture for school districts. Stable, adequate and equitable state funding is more important than ever.”

Freedom Day in New York City

South African diplomats expressed gratitude to New Yorkers and the City of New York as they marked Freedom Day.  In this SABC Digital News video, we learn of the appreciation South Africans expressed at the support of the community around the world in the role it played in eliminating apartheid.

Around 200 people assembled to mark the day in NY which was attended by Sherwin Bryce-Pease, Chef de Cabinet to Antonio Gutteres UN Secretary General Maria Luiza Viotti, South African model and Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel Peters, Aziz Pahad, Johannesburg West Highlands MP.

National Small Business Week

April 29-May 5 is National Small Business Week 2018. But it actually started earlier.  One event was held on August 27 – #SmallBusinessWeek Hackathon at the Ronald Reagan Building on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC.  Those in attendance received assistance from third party companies and the federal government.

The idea behind National Small Business Week is to “encourage all New Yorkers to support local small businesses.”  There are 530,000+ small business owners around New York, comprising 98 percent of all businesses, employing over 3 million individuals – 40 percent of New York’s private sector workforce.

According to Roberta Reardon, State Labor Commissioner:

“Small businesses are vital to the economic tapestry of our great state, and the Department of Labor is proud to support them through the many services we offer to help them with everything from finding employees to applying for tax credits and incentives.”

Yesterday the Microsoft Store hosted a series of workshops for small business owners including: Networking events, ChangeMakers: Modernize Your Small Business in the Cloud for Medical Professionals; Modernize Your Small Business in the Cloud for Realtors; NYC Speaker Series; Fuel Your Business with LinkedIn; LinkedIn Lunch and Learn; Modernize Your Small Business in the Cloud for Accountants; Microsoft 365 Business Mondays and more.

NYC’s Digitalized Evolution

A century ago, one of the things New York City had a good reputation for was its infrastructure.  Just looking at its water tunneling and reservoir systems, one could immediately tell that there was good, solid work done on the city’s infrastructure. At the time, that was very important to quality of life and popularity of such a large, cosmopolitan city.

But the 21st century changed the way we look at infrastructure and it is unclear as to how much NYC changed with it.  Due to digitalization of the economy, building infrastructure is not the big name, but rather data infrastructure is.  And it appears that NYC is not keeping up with its Silicon Valley counterparts.

When it comes to business and corporations, New York has it all.  It gets mentioned in Fortune 500 and Forbes articles and is a hub for business development.  But when you look at the start-up industry it seems like it is just not “all that” and when comparing it to Silicon Valley it has almost been an embarrassment.

It is not all doom and gloom though.  Things do seem to be changing with their up-and-coming firms which are taking quite a chunk of the market share.  In addition there is an increasing number of startups with core technological aspects which are focused on the creation and development of enterprise infrastructure and apps that have traditionally been lacking so much in the area. And thus authors of this article believe that there is now a “changing exit environment for startups in NYC, the rise of a set of mafias which are incubating startups, and the changing culture of customers and how that is assisting NYC startups with their competition out west.”