STATEN ISLAND — The city is planning to set up Staten Island's first ever business incubator.
The Economic Development Corporation has asked for proposals to develop and run the infrastructure that would seek to boost entrepreneurship and economic activity in the area and create new independent businesses.
The proposals are invited from companies aiming to develop businesses focusing on technology, new media, arts and cultural or food preparation. The incubator would also offer co-working space for freelancers and small businesses.
“Today we are continuing to build on our efforts to spur economic development across Staten Island,” said EDC President Seth Pinsky in a release.
“Along with important development projects moving forward on the North Shore waterfront, this new incubator will encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, and once again demonstrate that the future of Staten Island is bright.”
Among the North Shore projects is the world's largest Ferris wheel which will be built in St. George.
An incubator provides young or start-up businesses affordable and fully equipped office space for rent either part-time or full-time.
They also give networking and educational opportunities for the new companies, and allow for collaboration with similar businesses in a shared workspace, according to the EDC.
The successful bidder would be expected to find the space for the incubator, with preference given to locations reachable by public transport from the Staten Island ferry.
If needed, the EDC will provide the winner funds to cover start-up costs and operating expenses, typically from $100,000 to $250,000, according to the EDC's request for proposals (RFP).
“I am pleased that despite the slow economic recovery, the city has continually moved forward to help city residents start their own businesses," said Councilwoman Debi Rose.
"The first city-sponsored business incubator on Staten Island is major encouragement for a borough which flourishes on the economic success of small businesses.”
The EDC will select the operator of the incubator based on experience of staff, knowledge of Staten Island, plan for users and positive economic spillover in the surrounding community, according to the RFP.
The incubator program was launched by the city in 2009. It currently has 12 either open or expected to open soon in the other four boroughs, and more than 500 businesses are currently located in them, the EDC said.
The due-date for proposals for the Staten Island incubator is December 19. The EDC will also offer an optional information session on November 12 at the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce.