De Blasio names Maria Torres-Springer head of NYC’s Small Business Services department

Maria Torres-Springer. Photo: The World Bank

Maria Torres-Springer. Photo: The World Bank

Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Maria Torres-Springer as commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services, which provides assistance for small enterprises to thrive and grow.

A former executive vice president and chief of staff at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Maria was a key leader in teams that helped the redevelopment of Coney Island as well as the launch of the Applied Sciences Initiative. The ASI would pave the way for science and technology campuses to rise across the five boroughs. One example is the partnership between Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. The World Bank noted how this project will result in a science and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island “and will be central to the city’s continuing efforts to maintain its global competitiveness.”

The Small Business Services department provides support to small enterprises that will allow them to thrive and grow. As commissioner, Maria will establish a new revolving loan fund to help expand outreach to immigrant-owned businesses and help launch new economic development hubs in underserved communities.

“As the child of immigrants, I understand our city is strongest when every New Yorker has access to quality economic opportunities and good middle class jobs,” said Maria, who studied at both Yale and Harvard. “As commissioner at the Department of Small Business Services, I look forward to ensuring that every small business owner—no matter where they are from, where they live, or what they look like—has access to the resources they need to succeed.”

As a public servant of long-standing, Maria is “poised to aggressively implement progressive, community-based reforms,” said de Blasio in a press statement. She is further described by the new mayor as one “committed to serving diverse communities across this city.”

Maria is also the co-Founder of Friends of the High Line, the non-profit organization that oversees the maintenance, operations, and public programming for the High Line, an elevated public park on Manhattan’s West Side. She was its chief operating officer.

Maria came to City Hall during Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s third term and was promptly promoted to senior policy advisor. She rose through the ranks having established a track record of connecting the city government with local communities and the private sector.

She described her work with NYCEDC as a “full contact sport.”

“You just have to never be complacent, never be afraid for a fight—and you have to have the right people on your team,” she said in an interview with City&, a website covering New York State and city politics.

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