Committee on Small Business

March 12, 2024

It’s budget season, and the New York City Council has begun its extensive agency-by-agency review of each mayoral agency’s funding plans and requests for Fiscal Year 2025 in advance of negotiations with the Mayor that typically run through the spring.

Each week, NYCETC will share highlights from hearings that might of interest to the workforce development community. This week, we look at the Committee on Small Business, which convened on March 12 to hear from the Department of Small Business Services (SBS).

—Overall, SBS is requesting $173.9 million for FY25, a reduction of $109.6 million from the FY24 adopted budget. Total headcount for SBS is 346. Just over 40 percent of SBS funding is pass-through for the Economic Development Corporation, NYC & Company, and other entities. The remainder supports SBS operations, including the Mayor’s Office of Talent and Workforce Development (NYC Talent).

—In his opening remarks, Commissioner Kevin D. Kim praised the city’s “record-breaking” employment levels and improved bond ratings, crediting the policies and leadership of Mayor Adams and Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. He later added that one in every six businesses in New York City has started since Mayor Adams took office.

—Among SBS’s contributions to these achievements, Commissioner Kim noted the Small Business Opportunity Fund, a partnership with Goldman Sachs and MasterCard that has helped facilitate over $85 million in loans to more than a thousand small businesses across the city. The Opportunity Fund has directed 80 percent of its outlays to MWBE firms, with 59 percent going to businesses in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. He also highlighted SBS’s gains in filling vacancies, with 167 hires since the start of the administration.

—The large majority of questioning from Committee Chair Oswald Feliz (D-Bronx) and his colleagues focused on MWBEs, Business Improvement Districts, and loans to and other supports for small businesses. Other topics included Cannabis NYC, which is accountable to SBS, and how the agency plans to adjust for the expiration of pandemic-era federal funds.
Commissioner Kim did note that all federal funding in the SBS budget—$44 million in total—goes to support the City’s 18 Workforce1 Career Centers.

—During public testimony, NYCETC CEO Greg Morris remarked upon the hearing’s lack of focus on workforce topics, noting a lack of data that could give a sense of how well the city’s investments in workforce services are serving New Yorkers. Morris suggested that the City Council should engage more directly on the issue by forming a dedicated task force or creating a new committee to recognize the importance of workforce issues.


NYCETC’s written testimony for the hearing

The NYC Council analysis of SBS FY25 budget

Full video of March 12 SBS hearing

Annual Workforce1 Career Center Report, Fiscal Year 2023