Statement from Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City, On Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address

Resource Type: News, Statements

“Governor Cuomo made it clear today that he understands that New York faces new challenges in competing to attract talent and business investment to the state as a result of federal tax reform. The business community is prepared to offer its cooperation and expertise to help explore how any negative impact on the state and its resident taxpayers might be offset, through such measures as a payroll tax or a public charitable fund. We applaud the Governor’s commitment to take thoughtful action to cushion the loss of state and local deductibility, which comes down hardest on the top 1% of New York State taxpayers, who account for 42% of total state income tax revenue.

Another important announcement today involves the state’s workforce development efforts, focusing on better alignment with the job opportunities in growing sectors of the economy. Adequate education and skills training are the most productive way to increase upward mobility. There are more than 110,000 jobs waiting for qualified applicants to fill them in New York City alone.”

Downstate Business Leaders Endorse Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative

Resource Type: News, Press Releases

This week, New York State awarded over $64 million dollars to fund local projects that were recommended by Governor Cuomo’s NYC Regional Economic Development Council (REDC). This is the seventh round of funding awarded through a process where a council comprised of local business, labor, academic and civic leaders establishes regional priorities and helps evaluate applications for state funding. This round will support over 120 companies and nonprofit organizations to carry out economic and workforce development projects across the five boroughs.

The industry priority of the NYC REDC this year was life sciences. Two growing companies in this field that will receive capital and tax credits through the REDC process are Celmatix, a health company using genomics and big data to empower women’s fertility decisions, and Cresilon, which manufactures a plant-based gel to stop bleeding.

Awards will also support a number of workforce training programs that feature collaborative partnerships between employers, nonprofits and educational institutions. For example, City University of New York will receive funding for an IT Support Program that will prepare unemployed workers with training and industry credentials that qualify them for jobs in the rapidly growing tech sector. Historic Greenwood Cemetery will train youth for careers in stone masonry and construction.

B.Amsterdam, which operates one of Europe’s largest tech incubators, was granted nearly $2 million to support its plan to open a U.S. operation in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. B.NYC will be a tech accelerator for international entrepreneurs. A recent study by the Partnership for New York City found that tech is the most promising area to increase foreign direct investment in the city, creating new jobs and economic activity.

REDC funding for New York City’s priority projects will help close the skills gap, provide affordable space for the emerging tech companies, support neighborhood development and improve the region’s infrastructure, all of which are critical to ensuring that the city’s continued growth and prosperity are widely shared,” said Winston Fisher, Partner at Fisher Brothers and co-chair of the NYC Regional Economic Development Council.

“Life sciences investments from the REDC help strengthen an important and well-paying sector that plays an increasingly dominant role in the innovation economy. This additional state funding reinforces our efforts to effectively compete with other life science centers,” said Cheryl A. Moore, President & COO of the New York Genome Center and co-chair of the NYC Regional Economic Development Council.

“The REDC process offers a great opportunity to reflect local priorities in the state’s economic development program,”  said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City and a member of the NYC REDC. “Outreach by the REDC members has brought a greater diversity of funding applications, many from small businesses and NGOs that would never have otherwise gotten through the traditional funding process. The regional and more transparent approach to economic development through the REDC process has brought benefits well beyond the dollars awarded.”

Total REDC awards to New York City since 2010 total $465.2 million. Funded projects will result in more than $3.3 billion in private and other public investment.

Watch the video for more on projects that are transforming New York City. All of this year’s winners are listed here.

Partnership Fund portfolio company Kasisto raises $17M Series B

Resource Type: Fund News, Partnership Fund

NEW YORK — December 13, 2017 — Kasisto, creators of KAI, the leading conversational AI platform for finance, today announced a $17 million Series B funding round led by Oak HC/FT with participation from existing investors Propel Venture Partners, Two Sigma Ventures, Commerce Ventures, Mastercard and Partnership Fund for New York City. KAI enables financial institutions to acquire new customers as well as engage, support, and generate additional revenue from existing customers via human-like, intelligent conversations with smart-bots and virtual assistants, anytime, anywhere.

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Partnership Fund portfolio company Accelerator Corporation announces key senior leadership appointments and name change to Accelerator Life Science Partners

Resource Type: Fund News, Partnership Fund

SEATTLE, Wash. and NEW YORK – December 13, 2017 – Accelerator Corporation a leading life science investment and management firm, today announced the appointments of Kendall Mohler, Ph.D., to the newly created position of chief development officer, and Ian Howes to chief financial officer. The firm also announced that it has changed its name to Accelerator Life Science Partners. The new name reflects Accelerator’s commitment to developing robust, long-term partnerships with its portfolio companies and to nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship within the life science community. This commitment is shared by Accelerator’s current investors, including AbbVie, Alexandria Venture Investments, ARCH Venture Partners, Eli Lilly and Company, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., the Partnership Fund for New York City, Pfizer Venture Investments, Watson Fund, WRF Capital, WuXi AppTec and 180 Degree Capital Corp.

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Partnership Fund Portfolio Company Homer Logistics is adding hundreds of couriers to meet demand for same-day delivery

Resource Type: Fund News, News, Partnership Fund

“The growth of Amazon has been very good for Homer Logistics but not because the e-commerce giant uses the Midtown-based courier service for deliveries. Rather, the three-year old startup can thank Amazon’s competitors for its rapid growth this year.

Major retailers, desperate to keep up with the Seattle behemoth, are offering same-day delivery service for more and more products. Venture capital–backed Homer Logistics has gone from relying almost entirely on doing restaurant deliveries to getting a small but fast-growing portion of its revenue from serving online retailers and the e-commerce arms of brick-and-mortar stores.

Founder and CEO Adam Price declined to provide dollar figures but said the volume of deliveries is almost triple what it was in 2016. Read More

Partnership Fund invests in nonprofit Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center as part of $40M Financing for Queens factory project

Resource Type: Fund News, Partnership Fund

“Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center, led by chief executive officer Brian Coleman, has inked financing totaling $40 million from three lenders to acquire and redevelop an industrial project in Ozone Park, Queens, according to documents filed today with the city.

The intricate accounting behind the project, at 94-15 100th Street, also includes public grants and tax breaks. The deal was arranged in-house at GMDC, which has a development staff of only three people, without the help of a broker.

Drawing on financing from Sterling Bank, Chase Bank and the Partnership for New York City, Coleman’s nonprofit purchased and plans to redevelop the 85,000-square-foot bicycle factory into a multi-tenant manufacturing building. The project, slated for completion in spring 2019, will feature units from 1,200 to 9,000 square feet, which tenants will be able to subdivide or combine to accord with their needs, GMDC said. Read more

Partnership for New York City Defends NYCHA at City Council Hearing

Resource Type: News, Press Releases, Statements

Testimony of Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City, submitted for the City Council Public Housing Committee Hearing on DOI Investigation into Lead-Based Paint Conditions at NYCHA Apartments

Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony today. We all agree that there can be zero tolerance for exposing children to lead paint poisoning and recognize that this hearing responds to very legitimate concerns about conditions that should not exist in public housing. At the same time, the focus should be on fixing the underlying conditions, not on chastising NYCHA management or the Administration for a bureaucratic error. This is an opportunity for the City Council and all of us to support Shola Olatoye and her team as they struggle against great odds to preserve and renew the nation’s largest inventory of publically-owned affordable housing.

During the past four years, the Partnership has had an opportunity to work with NYCHA leadership on several issues. It is our observation that they are a professional, conscientious and capable group who have made significant strides in overcoming political, financial and bureaucratic challenges that have contributed to the serious deterioration of this essential housing asset.

Debbie Wright, a former HPD Commissioner, and I wrote an op-ed a few weeks ago where we referenced the huge risks of public ownership of affordable housing, pointing out that most other cities blew up or privatized their public housing projects rather than taking on the thankless task of trying to save them. We pushed back against the unrealistic expectations and highly political demands that some officials who should know better are making of NYCHA management, who arguably have the hardest jobs in city government. Among their challenges are inadequate funding, multiple layers of compliance requirements, rigid labor contracts, dilapidated buildings and a tenancy characterized by severe economic and social challenges. Debbie and I contend that you could not find a more capable or committed leader for this enterprise than Shola Olatoye.

The federal government’s commitment to public housing is at a low point, but we cannot let Washington off the hook. It is not feasible for our local tax base to assume responsibility for housing such large numbers of very low-income households without a federal backstop. Attacking NYCHA management for a mistake in a government form is just giving the feds another excuse to cut us off. We need to turn this into a constructive conversation, aimed at helping NYCHA management implement sensible reforms and introduce better systems and new technology. We need to encourage NYCHA to pursue entrepreneurial ventures to raise additional revenues that can help address unmet needs for capital improvements and upgrading of operations.

NYCHA represents a major opportunity for a public-private partnership, drawing upon the resources of the city’s business community, organized labor, and the NGO sector to help identify solutions and advocate for adequate federal funding and regulatory flexibility. At the same time,  elected officials will need political courage to make the hard decisions necessary to introduce change at NYCHA. It is easy to attack NYCHA management, but that accomplishes nothing. It will be much harder to develop and implement fiscally responsible solutions to its many problems. That is what we must commit to doing and the Council’s leadership is essential.

Partnership Fund portfolio company Celmatix announces major milestone

Resource Type: Fund News, Partnership Fund

Today, Celmatix, a next-generation women’s health company, announced that the Fertilome® genetic test has received full regulatory approval by the New York State (NYS) Department of Health (DOH) Clinical Laboratory Evaluation Program (CLEP). The Fertilome test is the first multigene panel test for reproductive conditions to be approved by NYS, which is known for having the most stringent requirements of the state agencies that regulate laboratory developed tests (LDTs). LDTs are not currently regulated by the FDA.

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Tax Reform Statement from the Partnership for New York City

Resource Type: News, Press Releases, Statements

“New York is a global business hub that will benefit from the business tax reductions included in the bill passed today by the House of Representatives. But the bill will increase the burden on individual taxpayers in New York by as much as 40 percent as a result of the virtual elimination of the ability to deduct state and local taxes from our federal tax obligations. New York City taxpayers contribute $56.1 billion more to the federal government than the city receives back in federal funding. As this bill moves in the Senate and in conference, we trust there will be reconsideration of the provision that penalizes New Yorkers and residents of other high tax states,” said Kathryn S. Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City.

New York is Underperforming as a Global Business Hub

Resource Type: News, Press Releases

NEW YORK, Nov. 13, 2017—Today, the Partnership for New York City released “Global Business, Local Benefit: Foreign Contributions to the New York Economy”, a report on the economic contributions of foreign international business operations to the city and state with recommendations for diversifying and expanding Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

New York City is the nation’s most important destination for foreign companies, which are largely European-based and concentrated in the retail sector. The 5,000 foreign companies in the city account for $81 billion or 11 percent of the city’s economic output and 298,000 jobs. While this is far more than any other U.S. city, New York is underperforming in comparison to other global cities such as London and Singapore, where there are significant programs to identify and incentivize FDI. London for example, saw $65.6 billion in FDI over the past 10 years, compared to New York’s $30.6 billion.

The analysis found that global companies invest significantly in New York, citing the talent pool, proximity to customers and innovators and a predictable regulatory and political environment as key factors in the city’s value proposition. On the other hand, aging and inadequate infrastructure and lack of affordable, quality educational options are cited as negative factors by foreign companies considering further investment in the city. Federal reduction in corporate tax rates would encourage FDI, while further restrictions on trade and immigration policies will damage prospects for additional FDI activity.

Projections show that FDI in the city is expected to continue to grow at its historic rate of about 4 percent annually over the next five years, with the potential to create 211,000 jobs and $20 billion in economic activity. But there are opportunities to scale up this investment by diversifying the countries of origin to include emerging economies of Asia, Africa and South America, and by focusing on proactive recruitment of businesses in high growth sectors like technology and life sciences.

“New York has enjoyed steady but lackluster growth in foreign business activity over the past decade. It is clear we can do better,” said Kathryn S. Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.

“Understanding the impact of FDI on New York is a critical starting point for reinvigorating the city’s strategy. A.T. Kearney was delighted to be involved in this project, and we hope the data and recommendations are able to help New York better compete with other global cities,” said Jim Singer, Partner, A.T. Kearney.

“New York City beckons as a leading global center for finance, art, culture, media and innovation. But greater investment in our regional infrastructure and a rejuvenation of public education would go a long way to wooing multinationals that have not already made significant investments in the city,” said Jason Stevens, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mitsubishi International Corporation.

“The Partnership has released this important report at a critical moment in our economy’s future,” says Douglas L. Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of S&P Global. “Foreign direct investment has been a bedrock of U.S. economic growth for decades and New York has been one of its premiere destinations. However, we are now competing with the likes of Silicon Valley, Denver, Nashville and global cities for high paying jobs and talent. Global leaders have recognized the importance of attracting business to their cities and New York must continue to do the same. By proactively partnering with politicians and the private sector, New York City can send a strong message that it is open for business and welcomes quality, high growth job creators. This report showcases some important policy ideas to achieve this goal.”

“New York plays a preeminent role in attracting trade and capital from around the globe to the U.S.” said Patrick Burke, President and CEO of HSBC USA. “At HSBC, we’re seeing that this investment increasingly comes from higher growth economies in Asia. America continues to be the top destination for cross-border M&A activity from China and outbound direct investment. The composition of investments from China is in sectors like healthcare, infrastructure, and technology, in which the U.S. excels. Continued economic development efforts for catalyzing investment from emerging markets in key sectors can further propel FDI. The Partnership for New York City’s report is yet another demonstration of how FDI can ignite economic activity in our city, state and country.”

“New York will always be a place where foreign companies need to invest and have operations, but we could do so much more to promote the city, its talent and diversity to benefit our economy. Other places, like London, are promoting their city as a place to do business, which has markedly impacted FDI. New York City could be doing the same to attract business to our area,” said Philip Ryan, Chairman of Swiss Re Americas.

Global political and economic challenges prompted the Partnership to update its 2008 report on FDI. As well as conducting 45 interviews with global business leaders, it also commissioned an extensive quantitative analysis by A.T. Kearney to understand the impact of investment on the city and state. The report is available for download here.