Small Business in a Big City: New York

Mightycall Team
Mightycall Team
11 June 2016 Business Insights

If you’re a business owner and want to give the Big Apple’s tree a shake, you’re up against quite a few obstacles. For starters, there’s the rent! Then there’s a cumbersome tax code that will confuse and confound. On the plus side, there are quite a few organizations around that can help you leap over these hurdles and even gain some assistance in the form of access to loans and working spaces. MightyCall can help too, by providing low-cost local New York City numbers. Find out more in our latest blog.

Last year Nerd Wallet conducted a study in which they used data from the US Census Bureau to assess cities in New York State based on their business climate and economic health. Surprisingly or not, the city with the highest number and concentration of small businesses in the state took 63rd place among a total of 83 cities with a population over 10 000. The reason is not that hard to find. Here are some of the challenges small business owners have to face when opening a small business in the Big Apple, New York City:

  1. Rent

    The most expensive city in America sets its standards: one of the most challenging money-related issues for small business owners is the skyrocketing rent. It is the reason old businesses are shutting down and many neighborhoods of New York are losing their uniqueness. Unfortunately, stories like the one of the famous Deli in Brooklyn with the landlord deciding to increase the rent by $6 000 out of the blue are not so rare nowadays and often unfair rental agreements only contribute to the plight of small businesses.

  2. Taxes and Regulations

    The City of New York “has over 6 000 rules and regulations” applicable to starting and operating a business. This means that even opening a business can become quite complicated. For example, to open a bakery in Manhattan one may need to interact with around seven City agencies to obtain all the necessary permits. The tax situation doesn’t look much better. The Empire State is known for its costly and complicated tax code. The city adds to it and more and more small businesses struggle because of the tax burden.

  3. Competition

    In the Big Apple it’s not just competition for customers, but also competition for staff that pushes you to improve. You have to make your business stand out if you want to hire qualified staff. High standards of living demand high salaries. By 2018-19 the minimum wage will rise up to $15 an hour, which will make it harder to afford even entry-level employees.

Small business resources in New York City

Despite all the challenges, being part of one of the largest economies in the country, New York City provides ample opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to incorporate there. A rich population with extremely high density and the many elite college graduates to recruit form make it a hot spot for startups.

Numerous government initiatives, commercial and volunteer organizations assist small business owners in combating the daunting obstacles. For example, New York City Economic Development Corporation offers startups affordable work space, addressing the high rental cost issue. The company has a network of co-working and lab spaces across the city not just providing low-cost working space, but training and business services. They even have a network of investors with whom they can potentially connect you. Organizations like the SMA (small business administration) assist businesses through guaranteed loans. They also provide free counseling, as does New York SCORE, a volunteer-driven organization that offers one-on-one business mentoring and “low-cost seminars on a wide range of business topics.” If you are looking to partner with a college or a university, you may find yourself eligible for “Start Up New York” program that will give you 10 years of tax-free operation.

Incorporated in another city and want to serve those who live in the Big Apple? Thinking of opening a physical office in New York? Sometimes the right phone number is enough. MightyCall offers New York local phone numbers in area codes 718, 347 and 929 at a low cost. Expand your business virtually getting the real customers. Learn more.

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