The new Freelancers Hub will provide free workshops, networking space, legal clinics, benefits assistance and more to independent workers in media and entertainment
Brooklyn will be home to the nation’s first ‘Freelancers Hub,’ providing free networking space, services and assistance to independent workers in the creative sector, announced Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday at the Made in NY Media Center in Dumbo.
Aside from offering free working space, the hub also will host monthly organized meetups for peer-to-peer resource and information sharing, and provide services including free consultations for freelancers to access information on worker benefits programs as well as free legal assistance on contracts, intellectual property, payment disputes and other freelance work.
“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. “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.”
According to DCA data, at least 400,000 in the five boroughs — 38 percent of NYC workers — are full-time freelancers. In the greater metropolitan area, the Freelancers Union estimates that up to four million people participate in independent work. The growth of the ‘gig economy’ has brought flexibility and autonomy for independent workers, but it has also raised questions of job stability, legal certainty, steady payment, financial security, and access to healthcare and other benefits.
“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. “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.”
Registered memberships include four free days of workspace per month. The hub will open in October in the Made in NY Media Center at 30 John Street. For more information about the Freelancers Hub is available here.