Business Council member Verizon recently announced that the company spent $1.6 billion on fiber-optic and Internet Protocol-based networks in New York and Connecticut in 2013. The company said that much of the money was used to replace cables and other infrastructure that was destroyed during Superstorm Sandy.
Verizon also highlighted an agreement that it reached with New York City last year to conduct a pilot program of “microtrenching,” which enables its technicians to install fiber-optic cables in a manner that is much less disruptive to streets and sidewalks.
Kevin Service, Verizon’s president for consumer and mass business in the Northeast, said, “Our network investments in New York and Connecticut provide an engine for economic growth through our aggressive wireline and wireless networks and IT deployment. No other company is as deeply tied on a daily basis to the residents and the economy of the region as Verizon. Our advanced networks enable new businesses to grow, small businesses to percolate, give schools and educators a platform for learning, and provide families a means to connect.”
Read more about Verizon’s major wireline infrastructure programs in 2013 on Verizon’s website.
Business Council members Celgene, GE Ventures and Eli Lilly & Co are investing $40 million in New York City’s biotech industry as part of a new public-private partnership announced yesterday by The Bloomberg administration. The City of New York Early-Stage Life Sciences Funding Initiative will fund life sciences research and a new technological institute focusing on medical technology.
According to Crain’s New York, the city’s Economic Development Corp will also contribute $10 million to the project while another $50 million will be raised through venture capital partnerships. The fund, totaling $100 million, will be distributed to the city’s life science-focused research universities.
Read the full article on the Crain’s New York website.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that some members of New York City’s business community are concerned over Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s plans to expand sick pay and living wage laws for more than 300,000 New York City residents.
Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City told the Journal, “I’ve heard the mayor-elect say he’s well aware in government of the impact of unintended consequences, and I would say that all of these mandates on business at a municipal-government level have the potential for unintended consequences, which is why we would urge careful consideration.”
Business Council President and CEO Heather C. Briccetti, Esq.’s interview with Gannett Albany Bureau Chief was featured again this weekend as part of an article on Governor Cuomo’s efforts to boost the economy. If you missed the interview, you can watch it online here.
The article highlights how the Governor has made more than 75 trips to upstate and the New York City suburbs this year to promote ways to boost the economy.
In the interview, Briccetti said, that while New York has added close to a quarter million jobs, moving beyond pre-recession levels, these jobs have been added downstate, not upstate. The upstate economy has not recovered and more needs to be done to help upstate manufacturing and job growth.
Yesterday, the State Supreme Court struck down New York City’s prevailing wage law saying it was invalid because it was pre-empted by the state minimum wage law.
The legislation, which required prevailing wage for service workers in buildings that receive substantial government subsidies, passed The City Council last year. Mayor Bloomberg vetoed the legislation but the Council overrode the veto.
The city comptroller sets prevailing wages for work on public projects which depend on occupation and union rates. Mayor Bloomberg vetoed the legislation saying that it would threatened job-creating projects in the city and would make it harder for companies to invest.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Manhattan’s Restaurant Row is rebranding, installing illuminated metal kiosks and solar-powered sidewalk lights along Eighth and Ninth avenues flanking West 46th St. The area, a longtime tourist destination hosts more than 31 restaurants and will debut the new slogan, “Where the World Comes to Dine” on a few buildings.
The city officially designated the block as Restaurant Row in 1973 but it was a popular location for restaurants long before that serving as an entryway to Times Square or Hell’s Kitchen.
Read more on The Wall Street Journal’s website.
Yesterday, the First Division of the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division upheld a March New York Supreme Court ruling that found New York City’s push to ban large, sugary drinks from being sold at restaurants and other recreational facilities as being unconstitutional.
“Like the Supreme Court, we conclude that in promulgating this regulation the Board of Health failed to act within the bounds of its lawfully delegated authority,” appellate judges wrote in a unanimous decision.
Many business groups fought the ban, including The Business Council of New York State which joined a diverse coalition of business groups and elected officials in filing amicus briefs with the state’s Appellate Court to oppose the ban.
“Banning beverages would adversely impact many of New York City’s small businesses,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council. “The ban is arbitrary, creates an unfair playing field among businesses and imposes new restrictions on businesses and consumers alike.”
Legislation is making its way through the City Council that would bring hostels back to New York City. The legislation would permit the licensing of hostels and is part of an effort to counter a 2010 bill aimed at eliminating short-term single-room occupancy residences and illegal multiple-dwelling lodgings. It is estimated the hostel closings, resulting from the 2010 bill, cost the city $150 million and reduced the number of tourists visiting the city.
Several groups have come up with a plan to convert four blocks of warehouses into high-tech facilities. Reporter Matt Chaban describes the ambitious project which would “cement Brooklyn’s role as an incubator for new and growing tech outfits.”
IT professionals with experience in security made the biggest gains, with base salaries jumping 61% in 2013
Manhattan-based tech staffing company, Mondo, released a survey showing that the base salary of information technology professionals jumped to $145,000 in 2013. The reasons are simple: cyberthefts and cyberattacks have also jumped, costing companies big money.
Matthew Flamm, reporter for Crain’s New York Business, breaks down the pay increases for other technology professionals.