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NYC: A Story of Economic Reinvention and Resiliency

Mar 18 2021
Hell Gate Bridge

Throughout its history, New York City has always found new ways to reinvent itself. The city began as a trading outpost, grew into a commercial and maritime power, evolved into an industrial and manufacturing hub, and flourished to become the world’s financial, real estate, and media capital.

That capacity for transformation and ability to adapt, innovate, and recover is embedded in NYC’s DNA—and it’s what’s given the city the strength to withstand every challenge that’s been thrown its way. From the terror attacks of 9/11 to the financial crisis of 2008 to the destruction of Hurricane Sandy in 2012—and now the COVID-19 pandemic—NYC has stared down many crises that had immediate and dire impacts on its economy, including heavy job losses, business closures, and a reduction of business confidence in the city. Every time, it’s emerged bigger, stronger, and better—and this pandemic will be no exception.

During the recent crisis, NYC’s resiliency and ability to adapt was on full display—with NYCEDC playing a pivotal role:

LifeSci Vision Plan
A Strong, Diversified Economy

NYC’s diversified economy is a key source of that resiliency. It’s a thriving, interconnected ecosystem, with all the ingredients for business success across every sector, including cybersecurity, life sciences, urban tech, fashion, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, food production, and logistics, including:

  • A $1.66 trillion metropolitan area economy
  • A labor force of over 4 million—the nation’s largest
  • Over 100 institutions of higher education, with 1M+ students
  • The second-largest startup ecosystem in the world, with an estimated value of $71 billion
  • Over 9,000 startups and 120+ incubators

And the City is committed to making investments that continue to grow and diversify the NYC economy, while helping traditional industries adapt and evolve. The City’s public investments in tech and applied sciences have helped drive impressive achievements in those sectors.

In 2017, the Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island campus opened its doors, bringing to fruition a two million-square-foot applied science and engineering campus that engages faculty, business leaders, tech entrepreneurs and students in collaborative efforts to build technologies that directly address societal and commercial needs.

The City is taking the same approach to diversified economic development in other targeted growth industries through initiatives like LifeSci NYC—an initiative to nurture the development of a thriving life sciences industry in NYC by unlocking new laboratory space, investing in new startup companies, and building a pipeline for the talent and workforce needed to support those companies across the five boroughs.

Cornell Tech, Photo by Iwan Baan

Cornell Tech, photo by Iwan Baan

Industry Invests in NYC

Even after COVID, major companies are taking notice of the city’s economic transformation and resiliency by investing in NYC.

  • Google has added about 1.7 million square feet of office space in Manhattan.
  • Facebook doubled down on NYC by leasing 2.2M square feet of space in Midtown Manhattan.
  • Apple plans to expand to a second building, leasing an additional 220K feet in Penn Plaza.
  • Amazon is moving ahead with plans to lease 335K square feet of office space in Manhattan and studio and production space in Brooklyn.
  • TikTok signed a lease to take over 232K square feet of prime real estate in the heart of Times Square.
  • Beam Suntory relocated its corporate headquarters from Chicago to NYC, transferring 150 positions to Midtown Manhattan.
  • Deerfield Management is redeveloping a 12-story building at 345 Park Avenue South into a life sciences campus to provide life sciences space to support healthcare and biotech start-ups and growing companies that work on cutting-edge R&D to treat diseases and chronic conditions.

The city remains a global business destination, as New York ranks #3 among US states in foreign direct investment jobs—with the bulk of those 500K+ jobs concentrated in NYC. NYC also ranks #2 global for venture foreign direct investment, according to fDi Intelligence.

Make Your Connection In NYC
NYCEDC Business Development: Making Your NYC Connection

The Business Development team at NYCEDC is here to help you hit the ground running in NYC.

We know that, beyond the bottom line, business location decisions often come down to people, relationships, and connections. And as a mission-driven organization dedicated to creating shared prosperity across NYC, we can help you succeed in the diverse NYC business ecosystem by:

There’s never been a better time to invest in NYC.

Learn more about NYC's business advantages by visiting Discover how we can help you find your path in NYC by visiting

Get in Touch

We’re here to help you make your future in NYC. Get in touch with us today.

We can help you succeed in the diverse NYC business ecosystem. Contact the Business Development Team.

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