What Mayor Eric Adams Means for New York City's Businesses
What an Adams Administration May Mean for New York City
The all but assured next Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, has pledged to oversee a pro-business city government that fosters job growth, prioritizes traditionally marginalized communities, and focuses on making all neighborhoods safer. But what exactly does an Eric Adams’ New York City look like for small, medium, and large businesses? Moreover, how will an Adams administration impact New York City’s reeling commercial real estate industry?
During September’s Skybridge Alternative Conference (SALT), the democratic nominee Adams told the pro-business crowd that New York City “will be a place where we welcome business and not turn into the dysfunctional city that we have been for so many years. Government must do its job to create an environment for growth. We want to offer you and ask you to offer jobs to New Yorkers. Right now, there are hundreds of thousands of people out of work in New York, and there are hundreds of thousands of jobs that you have that we can fill.”
Adams’s pro-business stance has been a welcome relief to the city’s business community, who feel that they have been abandoned over the past eight years, thanks to what they think was an anti-business administration led by outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio. Head of the pro-business Partnership for New York City, Kathy Wylde, echoed this sentiment telling New York Magazine, “we have eight years of a mayor who was completely disparaging of wealth and business, and New York City barely survived it. Adams has been obvious that New York City needs corporations, needs the wealthy that we have always needed them, and we don’t want to demonize them.”
Adams’ economic recovery plan leaves out a lot of details; however, according to his campaign, they plan to propose the creation of one common job application to fill all jobs in the city, expand subsidized childcare, prioritize minority and women-owned businesses for city contracts, eliminate the fees for starting a small business, and create a new plainclothes anti-gun unit to reduce gun crimes making everyone feel safer. On his campaign website, he states, “New York City must position itself to lead in the industries of the future: the green economy, healthcare/biotech, digital technology, and cybersecurity.” If elected Mayor, he intends to invest in green infrastructure projects through a municipal bond program while building an “inclusive” and “equitable” economy. As part of his 100+ Steps for NYC, Adams intends “to keep good jobs in New York and advance our goal for a fairer economy; we will reward businesses that hire local workers and benefit minority and female owners and workers.”
During the first Mayoral debate last week, Adams echoed this sentiment. He stated that to revive the city’s empty commercial office spaces, he’d seek to make the city more business-friendly and mold it into a destination for industries such as cybersecurity, biotechnology, and drone development. Adams also intends to allow restaurants and bars to keep their pop-up structures on the city’s streets and sidewalks as they provided much-needed relief to those businesses who struggled most during the pandemic.
Arguably what is most fascinating about Eric Adams is the coalition he has built. He is, and has been, a favorite of Wall Street and the real estate industry but also of labor unions and Black and brown working-class New Yorkers. Oh and he is a former NYPD officer. At his core, Adams is a politician. But what happens when there are fractures and disagreements within his coalition? What happens when real estate developers want to gentrify Black and Brown communities? These are the questions we do not have the answers to, even though traditionally Adams has sided with his constituents — but now every New Yorker will be his constituent. To top this off, the city council looks to be getting more diverse and more liberal. How will this all playout for the moderate new mayor?
What New Yorkers are most excited for is change at both Gracie Mansion and the city council. Ironically, however, New Yorkers tend not to like too much change and prefer keeping with the status quo. So in some ways, Adams can be the pro-business, community-first Mayor by not ruffling too many feathers with new divisive policy but instead finding small ways his coalition can work together and keep the peace.
At the end of the day, most New Yorkers are excited about an Eric Adams administration, and getting most New Yorkers to agree on anything is a pretty extraordinary feat.