The EBBID provides assistance to companies located in all three areas of the Industrial Business Zone (Flatlands-Fairfield and East New York), in maintaining Empire Zone certification. Over the past year alone, the EBBID assisted 20 businesses from losing certification. Decertification would have amounted to an aggregate net loss of $500k of zone benefits annually to IBZ companies. The EBBID has a long history of providing ombudsman services assisting IBZ companies in navigating government regulations. Businesses located within the East Brooklyn Industrial Business Zone (IBZ), regularly call upon the EBBID to seek assistance in resolving government regulation issues. These issues range from excessive parking tickets, sanitation and other regulations.
From 1987 through 2009, the EBBID successfully engineered two Boundary Amendments as the Empire Zone administrator. These amendments resulted in expanding the Zone to eight geographic clusters of businesses that comprised approximately 1,221 acres or 2.1 square miles. The amendments made businesses located in these areas eligible for Zone incentives. The area includes: two Industrial Zones (East New York and Fairfield/Canarsie), a sub Zone of Biotechnology Center located at the Downstate Medical Center, a Courier/Cargo area and another sub-Zone for suburban style retail mall known as Gateway Estates.
As part of this program, the EBBID maintained a certification level of over 100 businesses that now employ over 6,265 individuals. The organization has provided these companies with many of the type of services proposed as part of the IBZ scope of services, including:
Click on each service below to learn more about how the EBBBID can assist your business.
A great program designed to enhance the appearance of the EBBID is the Brush Removal Program. This new program started out as a partnership with the New York City Department of Probation’s Community Shield Program and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office. A team of workers patrols the area and removes wild brush which grows on the district’s empty lots. The program both keeps the area cleaner and keeps out pests and rodents that inhabit overgrown lots.
In an effort to create additional revenue streams for local companies in the buildings trade, the EBBID routinely hosts, Meet The Developer (MTD) informational sessions at its offices. These sessions bring together developers and companies in the building trade to begin creating and fostering deeper relationships. This method has proven to be valuable when developers have projects in development in East New York. As a result, the EBBID is therefore, able to advocate and secure contracts for area companies.
East New York is the home of a vast network of suppliers, contractors and sub-contractors in the buildings trade. The EBBID has been successful with this model in generating over $6,000,000 in revenues for local businesses. Additionally, the EBBID is forecasting revenues in this area will dramatically increase in the future with the approval of the “Rezoning” taking place in East New York.
Customer Service & Quality Control
The EBBID has adopted the highest standards possible for the delivery of service to its clients. These standards are based upon two principles: “Universal Silk Glove Treatment” and taking responsibility for all inquiries for assistance. The Silk Glove Treatment calls for all customers to be given the highest level of care, regardless of the size of the business, or the issue in question. Thus, any company that reaches out to the EBBID receives the same level of service whether it is in the market for a $10,000 or a $1,000,000 loan. Taking responsibility for all calls and inquiries for assistance implies that EBBID staff is responsible for following up with companies to ensure that their issues are resolved.
The EBBID conducts periodical surveys of all Industrial Businesses. These surveys seek to measure the customer's perception of the EBBID and queries customers about other services they require. Historically, the EBBID has received a rating of Good to Very Good from most responders. The survey highlights “hot button” issues and identifies resources needed to service the business community. The best indication that the EBBID provides high quality service and continues to improve this service is the demonstrated success of its programs and the continued return of its clients.
Despite some extreme challenges over the past decades in terms of crime and unemployment in the area, most of the industrial buildings and land in the IBZ was sold through the marketing efforts of the EBBID. Overall investment in the area increased (3-5% annually in the Zone over those years), and the number of jobs in the area also increased (4-6 % annually).
Employee Assistance & Training
The EBBID understands that Industrial Businesses are in great need of assistance in accessing employee and workforce services. Owners of local Industrial Businesses often cite the need for qualified workers who understand and are capable of performing the processes involved in their respective operations. Owners have indicated that the issue could be remedied with appropriate training of local workers so that employers have a larger pool of qualified workers from which to hire. Moreover, they expressed the view that many firms cannot afford the in-house training needed to keep their employees up-to-date in an ever changing business climate.
Over the years, the EBBID has worked with local businesses to identify, recruit and refer qualified individuals for job opportunities. The EBBID also worked to identify companies that can take advantage of training funds available through the NYC Department of Small Business Services.
The EBBID has assisted members in securing various types of financing from lending institutions. These loans have ranged from: land acquisition, equipment financing, lines of credit, commercial refinancing, bridge financing, bond financing and Small Business Administration 504 and 7A loans. Moreover, the EBBID has strong relationships and has secured financing from first, second and third tier banks in addition to capital corporations and loan funds.
The EBBID understands that Industrial Businesses are in acute need for financing for working capital, new equipment, business expansion, new construction, renovation and real property acquisition. Annually, the EBBID assists Industrial Businesses in securing millions of dollars in capital investment. The EBBID actively participates with businesses through the lending process, helping the business to prepare the financing proposal, compiling the necessary supporting documentation, identifying and approaching lenders in an effort to advocate for the business, and provides technical and other assistance until the deal is finalized.
Graffiti continues to be a problem in the EBBID, as large industrial buildings are inviting for young people looking to leave their “mark.” In response to expressed concerns about this problem by EBBID members, the EBBID has worked with New York’s Area Maintenance Program to remove any and all graffiti. Under this program, property owners who request the service are assigned a team of graffiti cleaners to remove the paint. As a result of this program, the EBBID has virtually been graffiti-free.
The EBBID engages actively in marketing plans and strategies to assist industrial businesses with promotion. In addition to the traditional print and social media strategies, the EBBID organizes a “Before Business Breakfast” seminar to identify “hot button issues” among companies. These seminars are usually supported by keynote presenters from various industries to speak around a central theme to the businesses such as energy reduction, financing, Empire Zone benefits, procurement, and economic development incentives, among other topics.
This is one of the most critical roles the EBBID plays on behalf of member businesses. By playing a middle man role between business owners and various city and state agencies, the EBBID helps businesses manage the rules and regulations that are imposed by government. Whether it is citations issued by the Department of Sanitation, permits issued by the Department of Buildings, or road construction disruptions caused by the Department of Transportation, the EBBID helps businesses bring their questions and concerns to the right people in government, as well has deal with government officials on the businesses’ behalf.
To keep down the population of pests and rodents, the EBBID maintains a pest control program. The program involves baiting and placing traps in strategic areas of the EBBID, especially where rodents have been sighted and have caused significant problems. Rodent infestation has especially been a problem along Sutter Avenue, as the EBBID has received numerous complaints from residents in this area. After the placement of approximately 690 baited traps and due to the positive effects of the Brush Removal Program, the rodent problem has been dramatically reduced.
Real Estate Assistance
The EBBID provides real estate acquisition assistance both to EBBID businesses that have land or building for rent or sale and to outside businesses that express an interest in relocating to the EBBID. The EBBID will soon be using the real estate relocation on-line service offered by the New York City Department of Small Business Services.
The EBBID is a constant target of criminals who dump refuse and debris in the streets of the community. The EBBID has contracted with a company to remove the waste after a dump-out has occurred. This company patrols the EBBID’s streets on a regular basis in an effort to keep the streets and the general area clean. The program started in June 2002 and, since its inception, has removed 400 tons of debris from the area’s streets, sidewalks and open areas.
The EBBID has assisted members in securing a wide and varied range of economic development incentives offered by local, state and federal government. These incentives range from: Industrial Commercial Incentive Program, Real Property Tax Credits, Tax Reduction Tax Credit, Energy Cost Savings Program, Business Incentive Rate, Wage Tax Credit, Industrial Relocation Grant, Sales Tax Exemptions and Hub Zone Certification.
It is worth noting that in the 20-year history of the Empire Zones program, the EBBID was the only downstate Zone and Business Assistance Center to ever obtain the direct equity tax credit. This is a financing mechanism that encourages investors, who are New York State residents, to purchase an equity position in a company.