Governor George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today joined the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York ("HIP") for the opening of their new corporate headquarters in Lower Manhattan. This relocation represents one of the largest corporate relocations to Lower Manhattan following September 11th, 2001. HIP is relocating 2,000 jobs to Water Street and will create up to 500 new jobs at its new offices. "Today's relocation by New York's largest HMO is another significant step in our efforts to revitalize Lower Manhattan," said Governor Pataki. "Immediately following September 11th, we helped 14,000 hard hit small businesses with more than 140,000 workers. At the same time, we've used our financing programs to help attract and retain more than 100,000 jobs, like the jobs here at HIP. Thanks to our joint efforts with Mayor Bloomberg, we are strengthening Lower Manhattan's economy, partnering with top corporations like HIP to invest and bring jobs here. I want to thank HIP for its commitment to New York and its decision to relocate its corporate headquarters in the center of the world's financial district." "HIP's decision to move to Lower Manhattan sends a strong signal to the entire New York City business community that downtown's recovery is well underway," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Since it was established after September 11, the Job Creation and Retention Program has played a pivotal role in keeping or bringing 75 companies to Lower Manhattan, and I look forward to many similar announcements that will undoubtedly be made in the near future. I want to thank HIP for its support of New York City and its enormous contribution to the recovery of Lower Manhattan." Anthony L. Watson, Chairman and CEO of HIP, said, "When the time came for HIP to move its headquarters and consolidate operations, we were offered many opportunities in other locations, but HIP was not about to move out of this city. HIP is synonymous with New York. We were founded here 57 years ago, and have been serving New Yorkers continuously since then. Our hearts, our spirit and our energy are here. We wanted to bring all of that and more to a place that has meaning. Downtown Manhattan is that place. HIP is grateful to the City and the State for its support." Empire State Development Corporation Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, "Thanks to Governor Pataki's leadership, New York is experiencing a remarkable commitment from the business community. The State and City's efforts have brought tens of thousands of new and existing jobs back to Lower Manhattan. In the past three years, we have made great strides in our recovery efforts for downtown, but our work and progress continues." New York City Economic Development Corporation President Andrew M. Alper said, "This is great news for the business community of Lower Manhattan. By treating businesses as valued clients, we can help companies make important decisions about where to locate their operations. We're elated with HIP's decision to bring jobs and investment to Lower Manhattan." HIP, founded in 1947, is a private, not-for-profit managed care company. It is the largest HMO in the New York metro market with more than a million members and more than 2,800 employees. The company provides medical care through the traditional medical groups and through an extensive provider network of approximately 22,000 providers in more than 33,000 locations offering a variety of products. HIP received $10,882,500 in Job Creation and Retention Program (JCRP) funds and is eligible to apply to Empire State Development for an additional $1.2 million in financing. Since September 11th, 2001, Empire State Development (ESD) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) have disbursed almost $1 billion to assist in the economic recovery of businesses, large and small. Through initiatives such as the Job Creation and Retention Program (JCRP) and Small Firm Retention and Attraction Grants (SFARG), ESD and EDC continue to assist companies with returning to Lower Manhattan. New York has used a two pronged approach to help businesses. Both JCRP, which has provided funds to 75 large firms, and SFARG, which has assisted more than 1,800 small companies, have helped to create and retain more than 105,000 jobs in Lower Manhattan since September 11, with an investment of nearly $400 million. JCRP --jointly administered by EDC and ESDC - is designed to stabilize the job base in Lower Manhattan, restore the vibrancy of the downtown community, encourage the creation of new jobs, attract new businesses and diversify the downtown economy. The program targets large companies because they account for more than half of all the private sector jobs in Lower Manhattan, which in turn support thousands of smaller-sized businesses. The grant terms of JCRP are discretionary but require the commitment of the companies to a minimum seven-year stay in Lower Manhattan. The grant determination is based on criteria such as proximity to the World Trade Center site, economic and fiscal impact, early commitment, number of jobs retained, number of jobs created, and risk of relocation.