City of Syracuse looking for entrepreneurial candidates for a Business Opportunity Specialist

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The City of Syracuse Department of Neighborhood & Business Development is looking for entrepreneurial candidates for the position of ‘Business Opportunity Specialist’ within the Division of Business Development. The job description is below, and we encourage Syracuse University alumni as well as graduating seniors to apply and put your innovation skills to work helping serve businesses, entrepreneurs, residents and community stakeholders launching ventures or looking to invest in Syracuse.  The on-line posting is here, and details are below.  Help us build our community ecosystem and make an impact.

Job description:

The position is responsible for supporting business development through direct assistance of small businesses, entrepreneurs, as well as the attraction/retention and expansion of local firms. The incumbent is responsible for engaging with existing and prospective business owners and other community stakeholders seeking to create economic opportunity in the city of Syracuse. This includes conducting available commercial site location searches and identifying resources for real estate development, as well as providing administrative support to public authorities housed within the Division of Business Development when necessary. The incumbent may also provide additional capacity to City efforts to redevelop underutilized land including brownfields and municipally-owned property. The work also involves responding to general business inquiries and assisting projects under review for permitting and zoning approvals. Assignments and responsibilities may also include general research and providing technical assistance to ongoing City initiatives and planned development projects. Other related work activities will be performed as required. The incumbent works under general supervision of the Director of Business Development.

Typical work activities:

  • Maintain database information and identify properties available through various commercial brokerage websites and through other platforms. Respond directly to brokerage and site location inquires within the city of Syracuse.
  • Utilize the City’s information tools such as the Integrated Property System (IPS), AS400, Tolemi Building Blocks mapping software to provide parcel-level data and aggregate summaries of a properties by land use, condition, code violation(s), and other areas to provide neighborhood/ward/assessment district information on vacant and distressed properties and other areas of compliance (e.g., certificates of use, certificates of compliance, etc.).
  • Respond and assist with various inquires related to properties, businesses, or other entities and support proactive outreach and planning efforts by the Business Development staff.
  • Attend pre-development meetings and participate in other discussions to provide technical support to advance these projects forward with municipal approvals and assistance.
  • Participate in discussions within the Property Sales Review Committee (PSRC) on requests to purchase of city-owned property, and assist in the processes to transfer publicly held assets.
  • Serve as the liaison between NBD and other divisions/departments as directed regarding project reviews, infrastructure coordination, and submissions to the Central Permit Office.
  • Other projects as assigned by the Director of Business Development, Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development, including but not limited to:

o Work with City staff and community partners to develop plans and projects for neighborhood business corridors/districts and engage with stakeholders involved in these areas.

o Work directly with businesses, entrepreneurs, developers, economic development partners, and commercial real estate brokers to develop and maintain a development site inventory in the city of Syracuse.

o Prepare and/or assist in the preparation of reports and office projects.

o Research, analyze, and report on pertinent governmental programs and legislation that affect business development and/or expansion.

o Gather, compile, analyzes, and presents information and data regarding local business conditions to help area businesses solve specific local problems.

o Assist with business retention and support.

o Attend conferences or training seminars as needed.


  • A Bachelor’s degree in public administration, business administration, economics, finance, urban planning/development, or other related field.
  • Excellent written and communication skills. Highly organized, detail oriented, and ability to multitask and apply critical thinking when needed in creative problem-solving scenarios.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook) required. Knowledge of ArcGIS is preferred.
  • Ability to work with a broad range of project partners & community stakeholders, including for-profit developers, not-for-profit agencies, investors, commercial real estate brokers, and neighborhood-based organizations.
  • The City of Syracuse is an Equal Opportunity Employer. City residency is required.