It’s a race from the Big Apple to Niagara Falls, and who’s going to be first over the finish line? Jeremy Clarkson in “the fastest, most beautiful, most expensive car Ford has ever made,” or James May and Richard Hammond using only public transport? May and Hammond’s task is further complicated because Hammond is now on crutches, after breaking his leg in a previous episode. So can a man in a carbon fibre-bodied twin engine missile overtake a disgruntled man dragging a moaning colleague on buses, trains and planes? We’ll just have to see.
Clarkson described the route to Niagara Falls as “a simple 420 mile thrash from one side of New York State to the other.” And whether you choose to fly solo in a super-charged four-wheel missile or be surrounded by other passengers, it’s a bucket list must-do. Niagara Falls isn’t a place visited by 12 million people a year for nothing. Here you can experience the power of Mother Nature at full throttle, see panoramic views to make your jaw drop, hear the thunderous roar of the waters and feel the spray lashing your poncho. Awesome!
This week, the team’s starting point is New York, one of the most exciting cities in the world. To call New York a wealthy city is a bit of an understatement – the combined Gross Metropolitan Product of the New York area is US$1.55bn, roughly equal to the GDP of South Korea. No wonder it’s as attractive to ambitious entrepreneurs as it is to tourists.
With not just one but three major airports, New York is one of the world’s major transport hubs and it’s very big on business. JFK ships more air freight than any other airport in the nation. And let’s not forget this place’s excellent maritime advantage. In 2011 alone, more than 34 million tons of cargo went through the Ports of New York and New Jersey. So there are most definitely some import/export opportunities here.
Home to Wall Street and the NASDAQ, New York has always been a major player in global banking, finance and world trade. However, the city isn’t resting on its lucrative laurels. Recent years have seen the meteoric rise of Silicon Alley – in 2015, New York’s high tech industries like digital media, telecoms, biotechnology and game design generated over US$7.3bn in venture capital investment.
Full disclosure: with steep real estate prices and a high cost of living, we’re not going to pretend that New York is an easy place to make your mark. However, the state has created some tax benefits and incentives specifically to reduce the burden on small businesses and attract entrepreneurs, like Startup NY – a program that allows businesses to operate for 10 years tax free.
New York is the business capital that never sleeps, it’s all about the hustle 24/7. On the plus side, because it’s hungry for new ideas and its doors are always open, it’s a rich area of opportunity for anyone who’s willing to invest the energy and passion into networking and pressing the flesh.
So whether you’re setting off on a Grand Tour to Niagara Falls or embarking on a brand new business venture, you couldn’t ask for a more exciting and dynamic starting point than New York.
Watch episode 2 now, exclusively on Amazon Prime Video