Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How is NYC Overcoming the Recession?

Mike Bloomberg gave his State of the City (NYC) Address today. He is doing a good job at bringing the City into the new technologically savvy world. In his address, he covered four very key points. They were:

1. How can we help those who’ve been hit hardest by these tough times?
o To help those about to lose their homes to foreclosure, his administration is implementing some things that no other city in the nation has done. He is creating credit unions for home owners to get more favorable loans, creating checking accounts that have no minimum balance penalties or hidden fees, and giving grants to home owners so they can qualify to refinance their mortgages.
o The City will also be giving out bracelets with GPS devices to families with disabled family members. This is to protect them from getting lost and hurt.

2. How can we make it easier to open and grow small businesses?
o To help open and grow small businesses, his administration is making it easier for businesses to start up with less red tape. This can save entrepreneurs three months of waiting, allow hiring to begin 3 months earlier, and put 3 extra months of income into their businesses.

3. How can we connect Black and Hispanic young people to the opportunities and support that can lead them to success?
o To help minorities, they are supporting youth risk centers that help young teens learn new trades and learn how to be better parents of their newborns.

4. How do we find new ways to stretch every dollar to the limit?
o To stretch every dollar to the limit, he already has put into place a 311 call center where New Yorkers can call in to find out information about where they can receive certain services. Now, he is expanding this by creating on point of contact where people can register, fill out, and file certain forms that would normally require people to go to many different locations and stand in many different lines to get the same things accomplished. It would be really great if he could allow architects to file on-line their drawings and filing documents instead of needing to hire expediters to stand in lines at the New York City Department of Buildings to meet with plan examiners and other municipal officials.

Mayor Bloomberg referred the citizens of NYC as customers of the City. He said that in this global high tech world, it is getting more challenging for cities to keep their citizens “customers” from moving out. He wants to improve customer services so people will not want to leave NYC.

In a nut shell, here is a concluding quote from his address:
"The spirit of innovation and enterprise that fuels the Big Apps competition is encoded in the very DNA of this City. And it's that spirit that gives me confidence we can meet all the challenges we face, including those highlighted by our four questions: helping struggling New Yorkers find jobs and financial security, helping small business owners open their doors, helping our most troubled, at-risk young people build their futures, and the future of our City. And helping City government provide better service - at lower costs.”

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