New York Empowerment Zone (NYEZ)

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 EZ 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 incentives.
The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Corporation (UMEZ) and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) were designated to work with the communities to promote economic development in the designated areas.


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 NYEZ 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



  • Projects must be in the designated geographic areas of the South Bronx and Upper Manhattan (Check Address Locator).
  • Projects must increase economic opportunities for EZ residents and build upon the cultural history of the EZ.


Application Process
Applicants should meet with a representative from BOEDC or UMEZ to discuss potential assistance through the NYEZ.
NYEZ projects are initiated and approved by the BOEDC or UMEZ.  Projects are subsequently presented to the directors of the NYEZ for approval.  All applicants must complete the Vendor and Principal Vendex Questionnaire forms as required by the City of New York before funding will be approved by the NYEZ.


Contact Information
For general questions relating to the NYEZ, please contact the ESD Program Administrator at (212) 803-3240. 
For projects in the Bronx, contact the BOEDC at (718) 590-6016. 
For projects in Upper Manhattan, contact UMEZ at (212) 410-0030.