Tag Archives: Economy

NY Comptroller DiNapoli: ‘Queens is a New York success story’


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Queens is on a roll and isn’t stopping any time soon, according to New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“Queens is a New York success story,” DiNapoli said. “Superstorm Sandy impacted thousands of Queens residents, but the borough is on the recovery path. With a strong economy, a fast growing and diverse population, and several large projects on the horizon, Queens is booming.”

DiNapoli gathered with local elected officials and community leaders at Silvercup Studios in Long Island City Friday to release an economic snapshot of Queens, revealing how the borough has made an economic comeback over the past two years since the Great Recession.

According to the report, since 2012 the borough has had the highest level of employment among all the boroughs outside of Manhattan as private sector employment reached its highest recorded level of 486, 160 jobs. The largest employment sectors in Queens include health care, social assistance, transportation and, warehousing and retail trade.

“A look around the communities of Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside and Astoria show what Comptroller DiNapoli’s excellent report illustrates – that the economy of Queens is back on track,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.

The borough’s population has also grown by 20 percent over the past three decades, more than the citywide growth rate, according to the report.

The state comptroller’s economic snapshot also found that Queens is the most diverse large county in the United States, with immigrants from more than 120 countries making 48 percent of residents, with not a single dominant ethnic group.

In 2011, the borough had 44,070 business establishments with small businesses leading in the area, according to the report.

The report also found unemployment to be lower in the borough compared to the rest of the city. The unemployment rate averaged 8.3 percent in 2012 and in the first eight months of 2013 dropped to 7.8 percent.

“These numbers show that Queens has weathered the worst of the storm,” said Queens Borough President-elect Melinda Katz. “With nearly half a million Queens workers fueling growth and innovation in the private sector, our borough has moved past the Great Recession that gripped the entire country in recent years, As Borough President, I will build on the successful work of state leaders like Comptroller DiNapoli to ensure we continue creating jobs and growing the economy for all New Yorkers.”

Together with the number of jobs and low unemployment rate, film and television production have both been thriving in the borough. Silvercup Studios, with 410,000 square feet of space and 19 soundstages, is the biggest studio space in the city and Kaufman Astoria Studios has seven soundstages and the city’s only outdoor movie set.

“I just think that film and television production is a mutual part of New York and Queens and of surrounding areas and it provides jobs,” said actor Michael J. Fox, who is filming “The Michael J. Fox Show” at Silvercup Studios. “I want to voice whatever support I can to continue nurturing film and television production in New York, it’s a big part of the city. “

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

President Obama signs bill to end government shutdown and raise debt limit


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy US Capitol Flickr

After 16 days of the government being shut down for the first time in close to two decades, business is back up and running.

On Wednesday night, Congress passed a bill that would help fund the government through January 15, 2014 and raise the debt limit until February 7. President Barack Obama signed the bill later that night and put an end to the partial government shutdown, which he said brought “completely unnecessary damage to our economy,” reopening federal agencies and bringing federal employees back to work.

According to reports, federal workers are expected to return to work on Thursday.

“We’ve got another self-inflicted crisis that set our economy back and for what?” said President Obama on Thursday after the federal government reopened. “There was no economic rationale for all of this. Over the past four years our economy has been growing, our businesses have been increasing and our deficits have been cut in half.”

The president said the more than two-week government shutdown encouraged enemies, bolded competitors and depressed friends that look to the United States to invest in or as a role model.

“The good news is we’ll bounce back from this, we always do,” said Obama. “America is the bedrock for the global economy for a reason. We are the indispensable nation that the rest of the world looks to as the safest and most reliable place to invest.”

Obama said the main job the government has to do now is regain the trust of the American people, who “are completely fed up with Washington.”

“Today I want our people, and our businesses and the rest of the world to know that the full faith in credit in the United States remains unquestioned,” said Obama. “All my friends in Congress -understand how business is done in this town has to change. Because we’ve all got a lot of work to do on behalf of the American people and that includes the hard work of regaining their trust.”

In order to make progress, Obama called on Congress to pursue a balanced approach for a budget, approve and fix the immigration reform laws and also pass a farm bill, which American farmers and ranchers can depend on.

The shutdown, which began on October 1, resulted from a congressional stalemate over the federal budget.

The Republican-led House tried to defund and delay the Affordable Care Act, but the Democratic-controlled Senate refused to accept a bill that would derail “Obamacare.”

Ironically, the government shutdown did affect the Affordable Care Act. The Health Care Marketplace, which compiles and rates insurance offerings in each state, started accepting applications on October 1.

Any employee or office that provides national security and conducts activities essential to the national security or the safety of life and property remained open and working. This included the U.S. military, air traffic controllers, prison guards, emergency personnel and border patrol agents.

However, more than 800,000 federal workers were left without jobs temporarily. Also, intercollegiate athletic competitions at service academies – Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard – were suspended.

Due to the government shutdown all National Park facilities, including more than 400 national zoos, museums and parks, were closed. Twenty-two national parks in New York were closed including the Statue of Liberty, Gateway National Recreational Area and other facilities.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Breakfast looks at economic outlook


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

At many levels of the economy, there are several things entrepreneurs and financiers should be conscious of as the country continues its recovery. This was the theme of the several speakers who addressed businessmen and women on Tuesday, October 2 at an economist breakfast at Citi Tower in Long Island City. The talk featured economists and lawyers who outlined where the economy was and what businesses can expect over the next few years.

With many people taking the initiative and starting their own businesses, there are some things they should be mindful of, according to business attorney John Rogers.

“There are a lot of things that are within your control as a business owner so you maintain and maximize your value as a [proprietor].”

There are three specific items small business owners should consider when setting up shop: succession, selling and business divorce.

Selling a small or midsized business could take anywhere from a year to 18 months, said Rogers — a partner at Herrick, Feinstein, LLP. He recommended business owners surround themselves with a good team, including a lawyer and a financial advisor.

“When you sell your company, you’ll sell it at a premium hopefully,” Rogers told the audience.

Business partnerships, though normally based on friendship or a shared goal, might not always work out for a variety of reasons. When partners start their business, Rogers said, they might not expect to one day split for any reason. The result: a split that could take months more than anticipated.

“When people come together to form a company, they really don’t think about what happens if they need to part ways,” Rogers said. “The reality is that most formation organizations are not facing the issues.”

Dana Peterson, a Citigroup economist, offered a wide-scale view on where the market is and the hurdles it faces moving forward.

The fiscal cliff — the common term given to the series of tax and spending laws set to go into effect December 31, 2012, unless a divided Congress acts — could toss the country back into a recession similar to, if not worse than, the 2008 crumble.

“Clearly if you go over the cliff, it’s extremely devastating,” Peterson said.

Because the government is planning to hike taxes and cut spending at the same time, the country’s slow economic recovery could backtrack and slip into a 3.4 percent decline and the impact would be immediate, Peterson said. The nation’s credit rating would also be lowered once again.

The upcoming presidential election would be a major factor in determining if the economy will fall off the fiscal cliff.

Politicians need to look at the long-term effects of a solution to stop from going over the cliff, Peterson said, as some in Washington want a quick fix with the future to be dealt with later.

“The best case scenario is everyone sits down and discusses what needs to be done,” she said.

The Economy is a Circus


| letters@queenscourier.com


As 2011 moves along, the economy of our nation continues to be in shambles. The unemployment rate continues to be high, people are continuing to lose their jobs, homes and health insurance, prices on everything from food to clothes to fuel to medicine continue to rise and we have a president and Congress who continue to battle over how to bring this recession under control.

They still cannot seem to be in any agreement on this very critical and increasingly- volatile issue. We are seeing mounting protests all across the country from New York City to Los Angeles to Dallas. People are fed up and disgusted with the state of affairs, and they very well should be.

The state of affairs is indeed very gloomy, and this is no longer a recession, it has become a depression. Wake up congress and President Barack Obama – do the jobs that you were elected to do, and stop all of this political infighting.

We have a circus in Washington, with the president as the head ringmaster and members of Congress as underworked, overpaid clowns.

 

John Amato

Fresh Meadows

Poll says casino gaming is a ‘smart bet’


| smosco@queenscourier.com


New Yorkers say “Hit me!”

According to a Quinnipiac University poll, residents want the state to amend its constitution and deal table games at New York Casinos similar to ones in Atlantic City and Las Vegas.

The poll states that 56 percent of city and state residents would approve casinos. A more recent Siena College poll found that 57 percent of New Yorkers surveyed would allow non-Indian-run casinos to be built around the state, compared with 36 percent opposed.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos and most recently, Democrat Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have all indicated their support as well, along with State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr, who is a member of the Senate’s Racing, Gaming & Wagering Committee.

“Rather than see the money keep going to Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indian casinos upstate, in this stagnant economy I believe we must start the process, including public input, for the expansion of Video Lottery Terminals (VLT) racinos into full casino gaming to increase our revenues and to boost education initiatives,” said Addabbo. “The smart bets are that voters would want to amend the NYS Constitution and ‘let the games begin’ – making it a win-win situation for the economy of our state and for our people.”

The senator is said to be working closely with operators at Resorts World Casino New York City, the developers at the Aqueduct Racino in South Ozone Park, to ensure a healthy partnership benefiting the surrounding community.

James Featherstonhaugh, chairman of the New York Gaming Association, of which Resorts World is a member, said that allowing casino gambling in the state would inject a much needed jolt to local economy and jobs.

“We continue to believe that when New Yorkers know all the facts – the immediate ability to create thousands of jobs and the spin-off effect of expanded tourism – this support will only grow,” said Featherstonhaugh. “In this regard, our association will be reaching out to elected officials and the public in the coming weeks and months in an effort to educate people on the fact that New York is losing $5 billion annually to surrounding states that already have gaming. By enhancing gaming in New York, we can stop this drain, create jobs, stimulate our economy and generate more revenues for education.”