BY NEW YORK STATE COMPTROLLER THOMAS P. DINAPOLI
Queens, New York is unlike any other place in the country. It is the single most diversely populated county in the United States. Of the 2.3 million residents who call Queens home, nearly half are immigrants from more than 120 countries around the world. This blend of cultures has helped make Queens the success story it is today.
My office recently released a report on the Queens economy, highlighting the borough’s resiliency. The report shows that Queens has rebounded strongly from the recession. More jobs have been added than were lost during the recession. There are almost 500,000 available private sector jobs, a record high for the borough.
As fiduciary of the $176 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund), I am always on the lookout for new and exciting opportunities to invest in New York State-based businesses that are looking to grow and expand in our state.
Keeping the pension fund healthy and strong in order to provide a secure retirement for the more than one million members of the New York State and Local Retirement System is a first priority. But when we can make smart investments in New York’s businesses, it’s a win for the Fund and a win for New York’s local communities. We’ve found some good opportunities in Queens.
The Fund’s In-State Private Equity Program has invested millions in Queens businesses – helping them stay and expand in New York. And, through our partnership with the New York Business Development Program, we’ve loaned millions to small businesses in Queens for working capital, equipment or real property.
There is still work to do in Queens as the recovery process continues, but the outlook is positive. I encourage business owners in Queens to visit our website www.osc.state.ny.us to learn more about the programs available to help their business grow and keep the borough of Queens strong.