Category Archives: New York Business

Milk Punch Revival with Eamon Rockey

If you live in New York and haven’t heard of the milk punch revival yet, you may want to take note. Milk punch has been popping up as the hottest new trend in alcoholic beverages. It is a sweet, cold blend of milk and liquor that actually dates back centuries.

The drinks are made with cold ingredients that are combined with hot milk to make the milk curdle. The blend is then filtered repeatedly until the liquid actually becomes clear, which can take hours. It then rests for a day or so until served.

Where can such a dream drink be found? Play, a cocktail bar in Midtown, has a Korovazon Milk Punch that is made with pisco. And Eamon Rockey made a strong push to revive the art of milk punch production at the New York restaurant, Betony.

Eamon Rockey reports to the New York Times that he first encountered milk punch at Bar Pleaiades on the Upper East Side in 2009 and he soon adopted the idea, turning it into quite an art in the process. While the ingredients are typically combined beforehand with milk punch, Eamon Rockey’s creations have a milk punch “base” and then offer the drinker the chance to select the spirit to place into it.

As Rockey explained, “I wanted to have there be a guest-specific evolution. It’s antithetical to what the drink classically is.”

As described on Eater.com, “The whole process takes between one and five days…and exhibits Rockey’s obsession with re-inventing history and personalizing a classic recipe using flavors like Watermelon and Golden Beet & Goat’s Milk.”

Moving Manufacturing Back to NYC

Historically, New York was the place to be when it came to the making of clothing. And given that NYC is still home to one of the world’s most prestigious fashion centers (with the Garment Center at its heart, in Manhattan) wouldn’t it make sense for the garment-making to take place there as well?  Because current figures are suggesting that is not the case.  For example, a Queen’s College Census Data Report found that in 2015, around 23,000 employees over 16 worked making apparel, accessories and finished textile products.  But if you look back to 1950 that figure was 323,669.  By the year 2000 that had dropped to 59,049 but now it’s dropping even more.

Given this, over the last few years, the city of New York has undertaken a variety of initiatives to change the balance. One example of this is the partnership that was formed between the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the NYCEDC (New York’s main City’s main generator for economic development).  Launched in 2013 with $6m, this public-private partnership program was established to bolster local fashion manufacturing and endorse inclusive economic growth throughout the City’s fashion sector which was set up to “support local fashion manufacturing and promote inclusive economic growth.”

And it has done it.  It has given 19 companies grants totaling $1.8 million to pay for technologies that help cut costs and maximize output. Some of the recipients since 2013 have included: Design Incubator, Dye-Namix, Dynotex, New York Embroidery Studio, Oomaru Seisakusho 2, Rainbow Leather, Sunrise Studio, Create-a-Marker, High Production, In Style USA and Martin Greenfield Clothiers.

New York Hedge Funds: Investment Strategies

For investors, to select a hedge fund with which to work, there are a whole slew of varying strategies employed.  Investors should thus figure out which strategy they align with the most and thereafter pick a firm with which to invest.

Meanwhile, there is some good news for dividend investors in the US right now.  As noted in a recent Forbes article by contributor Ky Trang Ho, the S&P  500’s dividend-paying stocks returned 15.6% on average in 2016; this was double of the 7.6% average figure reported for  non-payers, according to CFRA, a global equity and fund research firm.

Kevin Ulrich is co-founder, CEO and Portfolio Manager of Anchorage Capital Group, LLC, a firm that focuses on single fund investors, pooled investment vehicles and making investments in the public equity and fixed income markets throughout the US and Europe.  Long- and short-term strategies are employed with both internal and external data used to make investments.  In the past, Kevin Ulrich has said that “yield compression will lead to short opportunities.”  The company also looks for distressed investment opportunities and, using their strategy has provided clients with success as in the case of TXU Energy, which it helped avoid bankruptcy.  It did this by structuring a transaction which had a substantial upside should the company not default before a set date (which it did not).

Other investment fund companies employ different strategies for their clients.  For example, Och Ziff Capital Management and BlackRock Advisors.  As founder, chairman and CEO of Och Ziff, Daniel Och provide clients with a “multi-strategy approach to investing across multiple strategies and geographies.” As such it seeks to ensure the interests of its fund investors is aligned to the structure of its business.

Raymond Dalio, founder and CEO of Bridgewater Associates, works via what he claims to be a “more practical” understanding of the ebb-and-flow economic structure, using an unconventional management style which avoids focus on supply and demand theories.  He rejects the notion that monetary policymakers have the capacity to control inflation just by controlling the money supply.  He thus developed and employs the MV=PQ Formula (whereby M is money; V is velocity [how many times annually the average dollar is spent]; P is prices of goods and services and Q is quantity of goods and services.)  Using this, the firm works on the theory that if V is constant and M is increasing, there must be an increase in either Q or P.

Therefore, investors would be well advised to seek to understand the firm they have chosen as well as the current economic climate.

A New Yorker’s Dedication to CPR Training

 

Defibrillator, or AED. Photo courtesy of Fmalvarez.

During an ordinary day in August, 2016, New York businessman Jeff Feig was vacationing with his family in the Pine Lake Park bungalow colony in Cortlandt Manor, New York. Suddenly, with no warning, he collapsed, having suffered a massive heart attack. The chances are high, that if it weren’t for his fellow bungalow colony residents training and presence of mind, Jeff Feig would not have survived.  His wife Michelle & their 3 young sons would have been left to cope with this loss.

But Jeff Feig did survive, and this is why: his neighbors at the colony had training in CPR and the use of what is known as an automated external defibrillator, also called an AED. When Feig collapsed the people around him kept cool and helped him so efficiently that not only did Feig survive, he suffered no damage to his heart or to his brain.

Four people came to his aid: one called an ambulance; another administered mouth-to-mouth ventilation to keep oxygen flowing into his body; a third did chest compressions to keep his heart pumping blood throughout his body; and a fourth ran to get the AED to re-boot Feig’s heart. Ten minutes later the ambulance arrived, a length of time that would have been too late for the brain, which cannot survive lack of oxygen for more than four minutes.

Since that fateful day, Feig, who spent over 25 years in the financial sales and trading industry, has been spending much of his time promoting CPR training and purchasing of AED machines to be placed in public places. What is so amazing about Feig’s rescue from death is that the four laypeople who saved him had just had CPR and AED training only two weeks prior to his heart attack. This fact serves to underscore the urgency that more people from all walks of life are trained in this life-saving procedure.

Pet Ventures in NYC

Pet business ventures seem to be making it big in New York these days.  Three examples discussed here are: Doggy Day Care, “cat” therapy robots and Pet Plate.

Doggy Day Care is a big thing these days but one of the initial companies that offered this service in the New York area is now opening another one in the same place.  Pupculture (that originally opened in Soho in 2002) is planning on opening a branch in Northwest Tribeca at the beginning of next year, on the corner of Hudson and Laight.  Offering “pet pampering services” (including: boarding, daycare, grooming, spa treatments and more), New Yorkers can bring their furry friends to the Center for a few hours, a day or even a couple of months.

For those who are more into cats, they are making their way into the entrepreneurial industry as well.  Some of the newer therapy “cats” are being used to help seniors living at old age homes in the Bronx who are suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s and other cognitive, neurological conditions.  The Robotic therapy pets are able to relieve residents’ agitation that often comes with these conditions.  It saves money at 3am when one might not necessarily have to call in an aide to take care of this situation.

Another pet-based business venture in New York is PetPlate, a company which is humanizing pet food.  Now, instead of just humans being able to get tasty and healthy meals (such as hummus and guacamole), their four-legged loved ones can too. Only clinically-approved ingredients are used to ensure satisfaction of the pet’s palate.  It is the very first pet food delivery service in America that is distributing freshly-cooked, pre-portioned USDA food.  PetPlate uses meals based on recipes that veterinary clinical nutritionists have created.

NYC Businesses: Getting Ahead

loanHow do small businesses start and thrive in NYC?  Bureaucracy and taxes can put quite a strain on even the most established businesses, so what about those that are just starting out?  What makes the people behind them even try because a lot of them do, given that they account for 48 percent of the private workforce, along with, 74% of new private-sector jobs since 2008, and 99.7% of all U.S. businesses.

Some of the issues they have to confront include: challenges getting finance; limited access to credit and bureaucratic time-consuming hurdles.  One idea (posed by an Op-Ed in Crain’s New York Business by Carolyn B. Maloney) is to acquiesce additional funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI), an oft-overlooked federal program that help finance businesses in underserved communities.

This now could become very helpful.  Just three weeks ago, the CDFI committed to giving a large amount of tax credits (known as New Markets Tax Credits – NMTC), to investors that focused on job creation and other economic boosters in regions most susceptible to poverty. The total of this amounted to $7 billion; more than half of that is being earmarked for urban areas.

Furthermore, at the end of last month the United States Department of Treasury CDFI Fund awarded the CDFI $65 million in NMTC which will be used for the financing of a variety of assistances including small business  loans throughout the nation.

New York: Is The City Going Solar?

solar-powerNew York City businesses may be able to start benefiting from solar power.  A mere 5 years ago, only 186 projects were using this alternative form of power.  Today, that number has expanded to 5,300 with around 2,000 more planned.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association one reason so many are turning to solar is partly due to the fact that installation costs have been reduced by a staggering 70 percent.  In addition, since the government is very pro-solar, there are many initiatives and incentives being put forward. Indeed, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Director David Sandbank pointed out that thanks to the NY-Sun initiative, although solar panel installation costs can cost between $20-50,000, this can be cut in half thanks to city, federal and state initiatives as well as tax credits.

When it comes to businesses, solar power systems can significantly decrease – and even possibly completely eliminate – an electric bill.  Indeed, once a business commits to the installation of a solar power system, it is as if they have pre-paid for energy for around the next four decades, but only having to swallow a fraction of the cost for electricity.  This is because the per unit energy cost is probably substantially larger than what one spends on solar power which results in further savings for the company.

In addition, following installation, there is virtually no maintenance required (if at all) and most solar panels come with a 25-year warranty.  Furthermore, when it comes to the “green” argument, by using solar power electricity, one is reducing fuel consumption which in turn leads to a decrease in both pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

 

New York: A Boost in Employment Opportunities?

jobsNew York is encountering a hiring blitz.  Right now, there is a big retail opening from The World Trade Center resulting in around 10,000 new jobs. Over 50 eateries, retailers and vendors are opening their doors in the middle of next month which is leading to more work at the WTC Oculus space and Fulton subway hub.

Indeed, at the end of last month, owner of the Westfield mall hosted a job fair at the Conrad New York Hotel.  Hiring Our Heroes also organized a programs for National Guard, Reserve members and their spouses, along with veterans.

As well, the New York State Department of Labor has a website – Job Express – offering job vacancies throughout the 10 regions of New York, organized by careers and industries. Also on the site is a list of short videos giving information and tips to job seekers such a resume writing and interview handling.  Employers can also post potential jobs.

Jobs in New York

constructionFor job seekers in New York, where is the best place to go?  New City Patch can help New Yorkers find work in the following fields: Health Information Management, Hospitality Management and Information Technology.

A recent report written by the New Skills at Work-Lower Hudson Valley Stakeholder Collaborative in conjunction with the Westchester Community College put forward their research on the evolving nature of the regional economy with recommendations for businesses, government and teachers to facilitate the support of education and training required to “empower the local workforce.”

What was found was that businesses in major US industries have a hard time finding “sufficiently trained workers to fill middle skill jobs” (that being defined as people with more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree).  Furthermore, research predicted that by the year 2011-22, almost half of job vacancies (46 %) will be for middle-skilled individuals. So appropriate education and training that is in line with what employers need, has to be given.

for those thinking about relocating to the Big Apple and hoping to find work, the editors of WetFeet assembled some interesting tips a few years ago.

New York’s Economy: Optimistic Stats

dollarAccording to a recent report from WalletHub entitled 2016’s States with the Best & Worst Economies, New York is the 8th best state to be in when it comes to the economy.   To measure economic success the report investigated a variety of indicators spanning three main categories: economic activity, economic health and innovation potential.  While New York did great in economic activity and innovation potential, what pushed it to 8th place was its lacking in the innovation potential it facilitates for its inhabitants.

Regarding GDP New York slipped down the list too. It came in 13th for its growth in this area but 6th for its state government surplus/deficit per capita.  Also it’s unemployment is pretty bad as it came in 27th and then 28th for the percentage of jobs it has in high tech industries.

So while a lot of this data is good, the fact that unemployment is so high is a real problem and spreads into the matter of homelessness. One solution to that was with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s endeavors to build affordable housing.  But the issue was not resolved since as Mitchell Neburn recently pointed out, “many if not most homeless individuals and families can’t afford to pay rent, no matter how low it is.”  He further explained that: “those New Yorkers need the city to sponsor more programs that provide employment training and placement in jobs that have low barriers to entry but ample opportunity for career advancement.”

So some serious initiatives need to be taken to solve this. one example is Project Renewal which has the following programs: Next Step Employment Program, Culinary Arts Training Program, Veterans Employment & Training and more.

The government has initiatives too but still more needs to be done to put New York in the respected ranking a large city should be.