New York City Department of Small Business Services
Effectiveness of the Empire Zone Program in the North Shore Empire Zone In the Empire Zone Program, which is funded primarily by the State and administered by local governments, businesses located in certain economically distressed areas of the State (Empire Zones) may receive tax benefits and other incentives that are intended to encourage economic development, business investment and job creation. A total of 72 areas have been designated as Empire Zones. We performed a series of reviews in which we examined both the statewide administration of the program and the effectiveness of program activities in certain selected zones. This report, which examines the effectiveness of program activities in the North Shore Empire Zone on Staten Island, is one of three reports addressing zones located in New York City. Program activities in these zones are overseen by the New York City Department of Small Business Services, pursuant to a contract with the New York State Department of Economic Development.
We found that the economic development goals established for the North Shore Empire Zone are sufficiently specific and measurable. However, program activities have not always been adequately monitored by program administrators. As a result, many businesses in the North Shore Empire Zone have reported performance shortfalls, but corrective actions have not been taken by program administrators. We recommend that a number of actions be taken to improve program administration and verify the accomplishments reported by participating businesses in the North Shore Empire Zone.
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