What New York City's New Mayor Bill de Blasio Will Do for Entrepreneurs
New York City has a new boss.
The Big Apple has voted Bill de Blasio as its next mayor, ending the three-term reign of billionaire entrepreneur Michael Bloomberg. De Blasio handily defeated Republican nominee and former chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority Joe Lhota, becoming the first Democrat to take the seat since David Dinkins won in 1989.
De Blasio was behind in the race for the Democratic nomination and staged a late-in-the-game comeback against then frontrunner Christine Quinn. He aggressively campaigned on a platform that marks an intentional right angle -- or, perhaps, “left” angle -- turn from the political agenda of Bloomberg. De Blasio won significant political favor for his biracial marriage with once avowed lesbian Chirlane McCray.
One concern about de Blasio is whether he has enough political experience to manage the responsibilities of running New York. His career, thus far, has included only minimal time in the public eye. After working on Hillary Clinton’s 2000 race for U.S. Senate, de Blasio was sworn in to become the City’s public advocate, the second-highest elected office in the city. In his time as the public advocate, de Blasio sued New York to get access to data on the nature of fines being levied on small-businesses.
Here is a rundown of the policy changes de Blasio pledged during his campaign that are geared toward small-business owners and entrepreneurs in New York City.
- Establish local economic-development groups in every neighborhood throughout the city, bringing together business owners, community leaders and teachers. Those local groups will serve as loan officers in a NYC Innovation Equity Fund, which would be funded with money from the city pension funds.
- Crack down on what he calls “nuisance fines,” those levied for non-serious infractions on small-business owners. Local economic groups would educate small-business owners, helping them to avoid unnecessary fines.
- Provide outreach and technical assistance specifically for immigrant entrepreneurs.
- Replicate the success of the Brooklyn Navy Yard by supporting manufacturing business throughout the city in land owned by the city.
- Give local businesses a leg up on winning New York City government contracts by giving them a second chance at winning a contract if a non-local business makes a more competitive bid.
Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.