Good afternoon. My name is Tony Juliano and I am the President of the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce (GVCCC). Our Chamber is an organization representing hundreds of member businesses in neighborhoods stretching from Canal Street up to 34th Street.
I am here on behalf of our members to voice our support for New York University's NYU Core plan.
I don't think anyone here today could imagine the Village without NYU, especially the small business community. From the Chamber's point of view, NYU's 16,000 employees and 40,000 students provide the economic lifeblood for our neighborhood. It is estimated that NYU's Washington Square campus directly and indirectly accounts for more than $2.25 billion in economy activity every year and nearly 25,000 jobs.
The impact is even more pronounced at specific times of the year. During spring commencement, for example, some 30,000 people spend time in the Village and another 15,000 visit during fall semester back-to-school days. The university hosts more than 50,000 prospective students and families every year for information sessions and tours. All these visitors utilize our hotels, restaurants, and shops – supporting local merchants, strengthening our neighborhood’s economy and ensuring that our neighborhood is a place where small businesses can thrive.
The Chamber believes that NYU Core is important for the economic future of Greenwich Village. It is unimaginable to think what this area would be like without NYU. Just last month we surveyed 110 businesses in the area bound by 14th and Broome Streets and 6th Avenue and Broadway--quite literally the "heart" of Greenwich Village. Ninety-five percent of these local shops reported receiving business from NYU, and almost 70% of them indicated that NYU is "important or extremely important" to their business, accounting for either "11-20%" or "21% or more" of their revenue.
Since the release of the Chamber's survey and report, NYU has gone the extra mile in working with us to develop policies that help businesses impacted by their construction.
Aside from the impact NYU has on the 11 0 businesses we surveyed and the roughly 1 ,200 people they employ, NYU contributes greatly to the diverse community population itself. A 2011 Appleseed study showed that Greenwich Village's economy is fueled by its academic institutions and NYU is the biggest school in this neighborhood. Appleseed found that because of the presence of NYU and other institutions like the New School, Greenwich Village has an unusually high level of education among its residents. Many of these residents remain in the Village upon graduation and become successful members of the community. This more than anything contributes to the unique and enduring character of Greenwich Village.
NYU Core will help the businesses in Greenwich Village and the surrounding area thrive in the coming years. We hope you will take our comments and suggestions into consideration as you review NYU’s proposal.