Best For NYC Challenge Launched

New York City seen from the Empire State Building.
Photo: Heidi Schwartz

Posted by Heidi Schwartz

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the community of New York’s Certified B Corporations were joined by the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development and a group of New York City community organizations to launch Best for NYC, a multi-year campaign to inspire and empower all New York City businesses to compete to be not just best in NYC, but Best for NYC. Best for NYC is the first municipal public-private impact partnership in the world to support businesses to create more high quality jobs and improve the quality of life in local neighborhoods, all while strengthening their bottom-line.

“New York City is home to many of the most successful and innovative companies in the world, and Best for NYC challenges these local companies to give back, create opportunities and do what is best for the City,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball. “Best for NYC celebrates the businesses that are racing to the top, creating quality jobs and shared prosperity for New Yorkers across all five boroughs.”

Best for NYC leverages and localizes the annual B Corp Best for the World lists, released each year since 2012 and featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., The Guardian and other business publications. Best for NYC has already inspired interest from several other U.S. cities to launch their own ‘Best for’ challenges.

Using a customized version of the B Impact Assessment developed by B Lab, the City is challenging all local businesses to measure and improve their social and environmental impact, supporting the Administration’s vision for business to create more pathways to the middle class for low wage workers and to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. Questions focusing on low wage workers include: living wage, family leave, training, flex time and worker ownership. New York City community organizations that will promote the campaign with their constituent businesses include: the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the NYC Business Solutions Centers, Business Outreach Center (BOC) Network and CAMBA.

“With the launch of a multi-year ‘Best for NYC’ campaign, cities around the world can look to New York City as a model for how to engage their business communities to create higher quality jobs and improve quality of life,” said Andrew Kassoy, B Lab Cofounder.

The Best for NYC Campaign marks the start of the second phase of B Lab’s work to create supportive public policy for companies using business as a force for good. B Lab and the B Corp community have already helped pass benefit corporation legislation in 26 states and the District of Columbia, thereby removing legal impediments to entrepreneurs and investors looking to bring high impact companies to scale. With key legal infrastructure in place, the next phase of work is to create the partnerships, platforms and programs to inspire, support and celebrate businesses that measure and manage their impact with as much rigor as their profits.

“Best for NYC provides all companies with an innovative tool to identify new opportunities to nurture talent and tap the full potential of our businesses,” said Rhys Powell, CEO of Red Rabbit, a Certified B Corporation.

Many New York Certified B Corporations, including UncommonGoods, Red Rabbit, Hugo Neu and Cooperative Home Care Associates join B Lab in launching this campaign with NYCEDC. The local B Corp community will encourage its local suppliers and partners to take the first step and measure their impact, furthering their collective vision to redefine success in business. The American Sustainable Business Council played an early leadership role in developing the partnership and has been a key partner for B Lab in advocating benefit corporation legislation.