New York Empowerment Zone Program

Go to top
Next Section Continue


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

Next Section Continue


The NYEZ Program's success is based on a combination of investment funds and tax incentives that encourage businesses to open, expand, and 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. These incentives have been consistently retroactively extended; currently through Dec.31, 2016.


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 and other tax incentives.

  • NYEZ funded projects have created 25,139 permanent and construction jobs
  • More than $280 million approved in funding for economic development projects
  • NYEZ funds have leveraged more than $1 billion in private-sector investment

Projects Funded

  • The Apollo Theater
  • Victoria Theater Redevelopment Project
  • Baldor Specialty Foods, Inc.
  • Dance Theater of Harlem
  • George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal
  • Studio Museum of Harlem
Next Section Continue


  • 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.
Next Section Continue

How to Apply

Applicants should meet with a representative from Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Corporation (UMEZ) or the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) to discuss potential assistance through the NYEZ.


  • For general questions relating to the NYEZ, please contact the ESD Program Administrator by email or 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