New York Business Incentives and Empowerment Zone Program


Business incentives are offered at the City, State, and Federal levels and range from programs that offer tax exemptions based on where you are located and, in some cases, what sector you specialize in, to programs that reward your business for participating in energy-saving practices.

* In general, New York business incentives are designed to promote NYC’s objectives of generating employment and encouraging economic expansion and business activity.

Empowerment Zone Benefits

Package of tax credits including accelerated depreciation, wage tax credit, and various financing and work opportunity programs for businesses located within the New York Empowerment Zone. Neighborhoods in the zone include Central, East, and West Harlem.

Program Purpose

The New York Empowerment Zone (NYEZ) is one of nine empowerment zones (EZs) established by the Clinton Administration in 1994 to revitalize distressed communities by using public funds and tax incentives as catalysts for private investment. The designation was accompanied by a federal grant of $100 million and matching grants from New York State and the City of New York of $100 million each, creating a total investment pool of $300 million.

The New York Empowerment Zone program’s success is based on a combination of investment funds and tax incentives.  These incentives encourage businesses to open, expand, and to hire local residents. The incentives include employment credits, a 0% tax on capital gains, increased tax deductions on equipment, accelerated real property depreciation, and other New York business incentives.



Program Highlights

New and existing businesses located in or expanding to the South Bronx or Upper Manhattan can qualify for a variety of federal, state and city incentives, including direct loans and grants, tax exempt bond financing and other tax incentives.

  • Projects funded by the New York Empowerment Zone have created 25,139 permanent and construction jobs.
  • Over $277 million in funding for economic development projects has been approved through 2009.
  • NYEZ funds have leveraged over $1 billion in private sector investment.

Projects Funded

  • The Apollo Theater
  • Baldor Specialty Foods, Inc.
  • Best Yet Market
  • Dairyland USA, Corp.
  • Dance Theater of Harlem
  • East River Plaza
  • Fulton Fish Market
  • Harlem Auto Mall

IDA Commercial Tax Incentives

Discretionary benefits to induce commercial businesses to undertake major capital investments that result in the creation and retention of a significant number of jobs within New York City. Benefits may include reduction in real estate tax, deferral of mortgage recording tax, and exemption from sales tax.


Grocery store operators renovating existing retail space or developers seeking to construct or renovate retail space that will be leased by a full-line grocery store operator are eligible for this benefit. Financial benefits include reduction in real estate tax, deferral of mortgage recording tax, and exemption from sales tax. Zoning incentives include additional development rights, reduction in parking requirements, and larger as-of-right stores in light manufacturing (M-1) zoning districts.

IDA Industrial Incentive Programs

Eligible companies include manufacturers, distributors, warehouses, and other industrial businesses seeking to purchase equipment and/or acquire, construct, or renovate facilities for their own operations. The benefits include reduction in real estate taxes, deferral of mortgage recording tax, and exemption from sales tax.