Economic Inopportunity

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“Welcome to New York City’s economic boom!” trumpets a magazine commissioned by the City Council to promote the city’s economy. But the full-color, glossy New York City: An Economic Profile ignores the city’s second-biggest industry. The entire 128-page booklet, replete with ads for New York businesses, was printed and distributed in St. Louis, Missouri.

“The local printers just are nowhere near as cheap as we get in the Midwest,” says David Phares of Economic Opportunity, Inc. Phares publishes the magazines to raise funds for the nonprofit Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, which will pass out $1,000 scholarships to five New York City minority students at a City Council meeting in March.

But what about New York printers, increasingly pushed out of the city to make way for now-failed dot-coms? “It certainly is not sending a good message for organizations that are trying to encourage economic development in New York City to be sending work to the other side of the Mississippi,” says commercial printer Paul Bader, the City Council’s industry rep on the New York City Printing Industry Task Force.

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