2011-08-24 / Features

Local Electeds Tour L.I.C. Business Incubator


(L. to r.); Entrepreneur Space founder Kathrine Gregory, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Assemblymember Catherine Nolan and Congressmember Carolyn Maloney at the Entrepreneur Space. 
Photo Ed Reed (L. to r.); Entrepreneur Space founder Kathrine Gregory, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Assemblymember Catherine Nolan and Congressmember Carolyn Maloney at the Entrepreneur Space. Photo Ed Reed On August 18, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney toured the Entrepreneur Space, food-manufacturing and business incubator in Long Island City sponsored by the city. The tour was organized by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who in 2009 launched the Entrepreneur Space and eight other business incubators citywide. Altogether, the city’s nine incubators host more than 500 start-up businesses and more than 800 jobs, and have raised $39 million in private capital. There are more projects in the pipeline. Joining Bloomberg and Maloney on the tour were City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Assemblymember Catherine Nolan, Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) Executive Director Seth Bornstein, and many others.


(L. to r.); Gregory, Bloomberg, Maloney and Queens Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Seth Bornstein. (L. to r.); Gregory, Bloomberg, Maloney and Queens Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Seth Bornstein. The Entrepreneur Space includes four commercial-grade kitchens and is open around-the-clock to meet the demands of tenants. Currently, 120 businesses use the kitchens to produce products ranging from Whoopie Pies and Indian delicacies, to organic dog biscuits, cakes and cookies, and catering services. In addition, the Entrepreneur Space contains a small business incubator offering affordable workstations, job training programs, and mentoring services. The Entrepreneur Space is operated by the QEDC and managed by Mi Kitchen es su Kitchen, a consultancy founded by Kathrine Gregory in 1993. Two classrooms are also available for organizations needing to secure space for job training classes or seminars. The Entrepreneur Space provides access to business counseling, technical assistance and classes through the QEDC. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) provided a $170,000 grant to support its launch and operations.

“Economists like to talk about “green shoots”, or the signs that our economy is recovering from a downturn, as Mother Nature herself springs back after a long winter. Well, many of the green shoots that will revitalize our economy are being nurtured in the business incubator right here in Long Island City. The Entrepreneur Space and the eight other incubators like it in New York host more than 500 start-up businesses and more than 800 jobs,” Maloney said. “Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, employing just over half of our country’s private-sector workforce. In New York, as in the rest of America, the vast majority of employers have less than 500 employees.

“A business incubator gives businesses a helping hand so that a great proposal can become a profitable operation. This incubator provides commercial kitchen space so that entrepreneurs can prepare food in a facility that meets all Department of Health and licensing requirements—saving new businesses from having to go out and create appropriate cooking space themselves, which would be a significant investment. It requires an enormous amount of courage and determination to take an idea for a business and make it real, so I salute the entrepreneurs who are taking advantage of the city’s business incubators. You’re truly what America is all about, and I believe that one of the most important things we in government can do is to support small businesses.

“I agree wholeheartedly with President Obama that Congress needs to get moving to support job creation: we need to reauthorize the cut in payroll taxes we approved in the last Congress, which will give families an extra $1,000 per year, on average, so they can support businesses like those being created here at The Entrepreneur Space; and we need to continue to invest in our infrastructure, especially in projects to expand our transportation system, which provide good-paying jobs during construc- tion and a boost to our economic competitiveness down the road.

“Finally, I’d like to commend Mayor Bloomberg on the success of New York’s business incubators. The Mayor deserves the thanks of a grateful city for this extraordinary program. The small businesses taking root here are truly the future of New York. This kind of innovation is one of the reasons New York is doing better than the national average and is better prepared for tough economic times,” Maloney concluded.

“When we launched the first business incubator in 2009 to make it easier for entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into local businesses and jobs, we pledged to open more if it was successful,” Bloomberg said. “Today, we have nine incubators that have helped create more than 800 jobs, and businesses have already graduated out of them and moved into their own space. Now, we’re identifying opportunities to expand the program even further. We want New York City to be the most welcoming city in the country for people who want to start a business. The incubator program is a prime example of what government can do to help create that environment and spur job creation.”

“I am excited to see The Entrepreneur Space thrive in the same way La Marqueta in East Harlem has,” Quinn said. “These workspaces are groundbreaking initiatives, aiding culinary entrepreneurs to expand their businesses while bolstering the multibillion dollar food industry in New York City. Moreover, they are true examples of the finest in public-private partnerships, proving what can be achieved when we come together to support small businesses. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, the Queens Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Seth Bornstein, and several of my city council colleagues for their dedication to these efforts.”

“This city-sponsored business incubator, operated by the Queens Economic Development Corporation, has become a quick success,” Queens Borough President Helen Marshall said. “It nourishes and nurtures businesses, helping them to grow by providing space, counseling, technical assistance and networking opportunities. This great resource for entrepreneurs is one of nine throughout the city that provides the kind of opportunities and expertise that will yield great dividends and generate the sweet smell of success. I thank Mayor Bloomberg for his support and commitment to provide resources like this one.”

“The creation and development of small businesses in New York is vital to turning our economy around during these difficult economic times,” state Senator Michael Gianaris said. “This is exactly the model we need to give burgeoning entrepreneurs the tools necessary to establish themselves. It is fitting that this space is located in Long Island City, which has quickly become the city’s most welcoming hub for new, successful businesses.”

“This invaluable incubator provides an affordable space for entrepreneurs to make their business dreams a reality,” Van Bramer said. “Many people look to start their own businesses when doors close to other job opportunities. This incubator opens doors and creates jobs. I am proud to support the incubator which provides tools and resources to start small businesses and will continue to work with the city to provide more opportunities for the growing and vibrant small businesses in New York City.”

“The Entrepreneur Space reflects the core mission of the QEDC which is to create and retain jobs. By giving emerging entrepreneurs space, counseling and technical assistance we are helping them grow their business, create employment opportunities and revitalize our communities,” Bornstein said.

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