The Bronx was on an upward trajectory in terms of population, employment, and new businesses before the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, it still faced issues such as low household incomes, high poverty rates, and high unemployment rates. To help address these issues, many New York City-based companies have taken up corporate social responsibility initiatives. These initiatives not only benefit society and the environment, but also create a positive reputation for the company in the long term.
The Penn Station Access Project was delayed due to the pandemic, but it will expand Metro-North rail service in the Bronx when it is completed. The Hunts Point project, managed by the New York State Department of Transportation, will provide direct access to the Hunts Point terminal market from both the Bruckner Highway and the new Sheridan Boulevard. It will also add a third lane in each direction of the Bruckner Highway and replace the Bryant Ave pedestrian bridge. During the pandemic-related lockdown, essential workers in the Bronx kept their jobs but had to work on-site.
Non-essential face-to-face industries such as lodging and food services, personal services, and retail (except grocery stores and pharmacies) faced layoffs due to business closures or reduced hours. The City of Yes and MyCity portal give us hope for small businesses in New York City. Despite construction delays due to the pandemic, significant progress has been made in some economic development projects in the county, particularly in the South Bronx area. Kim launched MyCity Business site with a pilot program for New York City's first AI chatbot. This site connects business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with content that helps them start, operate, and grow businesses in New York City.
Analysis of COVID-19 related health outcomes in the Bronx revealed an association with median family income and proportion of minority residents. Companies in transportation and warehousing, business services, and retail sectors accounted for nearly two-thirds of approved first-draw loans in the Bronx. The Spofford redevelopment project is a five-building mixed-use campus located in northeast Hunts Point that will be built in three phases by a private property developer. MyCity Business site and chatbot are still in their beta phase but will expand their offer and functionality soon. Projects such as these can have a positive impact on small businesses in the Bronx by providing access to resources that can help them grow. These projects can also create jobs for local residents and provide access to transportation options that can help them get to work or other destinations more quickly.
Additionally, these projects can help create a more vibrant economy by providing access to new markets for small businesses. In order to maximize the impact of these projects on small businesses in the Bronx, it is important for local government officials to work with local business owners to ensure that they are aware of all available resources and opportunities. Additionally, local government officials should work with local businesses to ensure that they are able to take advantage of any incentives or grants that may be available to them. Finally, local government officials should work with local businesses to ensure that they are able to access any financing options that may be available.