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.
Rather than moving away from New York to beat high overheads and rentals, it looks like some companies are moving in. A whole slew of IT jobs with Estée Lauder Companies Inc. are being moved from Melville to new offices in Long Island City, Queens. The company’s “new technology hub” is set to open in July 2018 at 1 Queens Plaza North and will open in July.
In more good news for those in Queens, some believe that the Tax Cuts and Job Act will be beneficial for them…and not just the large corporations. One native, Tom Clarke, a franchisee of Arby’s and Burger Kings, called the new law a “phenomenal thing,” resulting in his workers getting an additional $40-50 increase in their biweekly paychecks. That’s really money in the pocket which, until the law would go directly to “government coffers.”
A recent study has shown that New York offers employees many advantages as compared to other states nationwide. According to a list put out recently by Fortune Magazine, out of 100 best companies, 9 of them are in New York. Categories in the study included: perks, compensation, paid vacation, and more. Companies included had at least a thousand workers. Wegmans was considered the best place to work in New York (and was ranked Number 2 in the nationwide list).
New York is also good for workers who want to be parents and get good parental rights. One example is 34-year old father of two Rob Bralow who took paid paternity leave. The co-owner of BLVD Wine Bar is reported to feel “incredibly privileged to be able to take the time away to be with my newest family members.”
And why did he get this privilege? At the beginning of 2018, New York was one of just a handful of states that put into law paid family leave for anyone who works for a private employer, giving “paid time off to bond with a newly born, adopted or fostered child; to care for a close relative with a serious health condition; or to assist when a military family member is deployed abroad.”
NYC is not just about the nightlife…the job culture there is pretty inviting too.
Minimum wage and New York have been some buzzwords going around for a while now. At the beginning of last year, there was an increase of 50 percent in New York’s tipped minimum wage with that for fast-food workers increasing by 17 percent.
In 2017 minimum wage increased by 22 percent. by the end of next year, any company that has 11 staff members or more will have to pay them at least $15 per hour. For other workers it will increase to $10.40. This is a marked 67% increase on the previous minimum wage for these companies.
Over the next few years the minimum wage in NYC will rise even more, until it reaches $15 in 2019. However, according to data from the New York Labor Department, there has been – for the first time since 2009 – a decline in employment growth indicating that job growth remains prosperous following a minimum wage increase.
When it comes to revenue, which privately-held company is doing best in New York? Based on 2016 revenue data, Crain’s has determined their list, with the top three as:
However, Partnership for New York City analysis found that business in New York is lacking in metropolitan characteristics. It found that most of New York’s foreign companies actually come from Europe and thus it is the responsibility of the government to make it more attractive for businesses from Asia, the Middle East and South America to come to America. As Partnership President Kathryn Wylde said: “We should really pay attention to countries with a growing market demand for goods and services from New York, and one important way to do that is to have more of their companies have operations here.”
For employees in New York who often have to make an accounting of either going to work while having a sick child at home or losing money, thanks to Brooklyn’s UncommonGoods this problem may soon be eliminated. Bringing home a new baby, caring for someone, helping a loved one or doing anything that requires one to not be at work but is surely not classified as a vacation, this small business is there to help.
With around 200 employees, the online unique product retailer is offering employees up to eight weeks of paid time per year for such situations. According to company CEO David Bolotsky, as well as being good for the employees, this makes economic sense. He explained:
“It’s important because families are important, and being able to care for loved ones is essential. Providing our workers with the ability to balance their personal needs with their work requirements, we think, is in our business interest as well.”
And thankfully, very soon, this policy will extend to other companies in New York. This is because on January 1, 2018, all businesses will be subject to a program that is being seen as one of the nation’s “most progressive family leave policies.”
In a gradual way, by 2021, families will be given up to 12 weeks paid time off for new children (meaning biological, adopted and fosters). This will extend to sick members of the family (including in laws and domestic partners) as well as those undergoing family pressures (such as military responsibilities).
In an attempt to facilitate the hiring of engineers and ensure their staunch technical skills, Triplebyte was established in 2015. Initially in San Francisco, the company that has built an enhanced hiring process, enabling engineers to showcase their capacities, Triplebyte is now ready to move on to its second market, in New York. At the same time, it will be moving into an additional industry to technology – that of finance.
After two years of focus in the Bay area, last month, Triplebyte announced the launch of its services in New York. Initially concentrating on “late stage startups” including Dropbox, Palantir and Peleton, the company is interested in engineers currently working in New York or willing to relocate and has even committed to cover interview and related costs.
The way Triplebyte works is by putting all technical recruits through an automated screening test, followed by a two-hour technical interview. It then identifies their strengths and weaknesses and using that data, seeks the most appropriate work environment for them.
Resumes are not required. The process just works with candidates face-to-face and uses that method to test their abilities. That way it is completely non-discriminatory and not based on paper. So if someone has not gone to college but has taught themselves, but are extremely proficient in what they do, they will likely be placed.
Alicia Green, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development in NYC, recently announced the establishment of the VR/AR hub for business creation, education, investment, research and training. The NYU Tandon School of Engineering has been chosen to develop and operate this – the first ever government funded hub at a 15,000 square foot space in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Students will be able to prepare at these hubs for careers in both these sectors (Virtual and Augmented Reality). Meanwhile the NYCEDC (New York City Economic Development Corporation) together with (MOME) the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has invested $6 million into the incubator.
It is hoped that this will result in: the support of new ventures (equipment, infrastructure and workspace) to startups; create a citywide VR/AR talent pipeline; ensure that the area has the highest quality VR/AR research center through expertise of those from NYU, Columbia, CUNY, to expand technological advance in these fields; develop the VR/AR Community and activate innovation in the field.
In an effort to increase the diversity among those working in the media industry (specifically in TV – writing or directing), a bill was passed in the New York State Senate and Assembly which established a $5 million incentive program to be allocated to salaries of those who are female or come from another minority group. This is in addition to New York state’s $420 million film and TV production tax credit.
The reasoning behind the bill was because it was found that those being hired in the industry were often passing over others just because they knew someone in the industry, leaving talented individuals without the job they deserve. As Eastern DGA Executive Director Neil Dudich pointed out, “For years the DGA has pushed the industry to change their imbalanced hiring practices so that talent, and talent alone, is the defining factor. By encouraging studios, networks and producers to discover the talented New York TV directors and writers that are out there in abundance, this bill can be a meaningful step forward in establishing a level playing field for all.”
The way this will work in practice (if it gets Governor Cuomo’s support and becomes law) is that 30% of the salaries of female and minority writers and directors would have the opportunity to earn a tax credit, with caps of $50,000 per episode and $150,000 for a show’s entire season.