New York City is home to a lot of freelancers — about 400,000. In fact, according to the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, nearly two out of every five workers in the city are freelance.
And though New Yorkers are known for their hustle, there’s a lot to handle as an independent worker. Now, officials are helping out with the announcement of a new Freelancers Hub.
The de Blasio administration announced on Wednesday that a Freelancers Hub, a first-of-its-kind center to provide resources to these workers, will be coming to the Made in NY Media Center in Brooklyn. The center will be a go-to resource for everything from networking to navigating taxes outside of an office job.
“Too many freelancers in New York City struggle with issues ranging from nonpayment to difficulty accessing health insurance, and they need a network to help their business thrive,” said Caitlin Pearce, executive director of Freelancers Union, in a statement. “We’re grateful that the City of New York has recognized the need to provide resources to better serve this growing population of workers, and we hope Freelancers Hub can serve as a model for cities across the country.”
What will the Freelancers Hub offer NYC workers?
The Made in NY Media Center in DUMBO. Photo: Creative Commons
Inside the DUMBO hub, located at 30 John Street, freelance workers will have access to networking space; monthly meetups; free workshops on topics like marketing, accounting and tax assistance; free legal assistance regarding contracts and payment disputes and more.
The Freelancers Hub is set to open in the first week of October. It will be operated by Freelancers Union and supported by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, so it’s targeting workers in the media and entertainment sectors at the moment.
This is also the population that could most benefit from aid — according to the Department of Consumer Affairs, those in the arts and entertainment industry were overrepresented in terms of complaints to the department’s Office of Labor Policy & Standards in the first year of the Freelance Isn’t Free act, compared to the city’s freelance workforce as a whole.
“Workers in the media and entertainment sectors have been operating in the ‘gig’ economy for decades,” said Julie Menin, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, in a statement. “We’re extremely proud that The Freelancers Hub at the Made in NY Media Center will make New York the first city in the country to provide direct services and support to independent workers in the creative industries, demonstrating how cities and governments can help workers flourish and grow their business while maintaining the independence and flexibility that comes with freelance work.”
Check out freelancershub.nyc for more information.