Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday the city has joined forces with national retailer Walmart to help create thousands of summer jobs for local teens.
Walmart is donating $4 million to support the city's Summer Youth Employment Program.
More than 30 other corporations are also pitching in, but Walmart's contribution is the largest.
The city says the money will pay for an additional 3,400 kids to participate in the program, which suffered from budget cuts, bringing the total to 28,000.
"This is a good, major first step," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
"This city is going to be open to everyone. We want the jobs that stores like Walmart provide, and we want people who live in the city to be able to buy products from Walmart," said Bloomberg.
It was a ringing endorsement from the mayor that seemed designed to counter the vocal opposition aimed at keeping the retailer out of the five boroughs.
Opponents saw this latest contribution as an attempt by Walmart to buy its way in to New York, plain and simple.
"It's like bribery. Of course they're buying their way in. Everyone knows that, even the people in Brownsville, [Brooklyn]," said Steve Barrison of the Small Business Congress of New York City. "People are so desperate in this economic time that they really want the money."
Bloomberg did not dispute the connection between the donation and Walmart's efforts to open in New York, but he grew frustrated at the line of questioning.
"Everything is always connected. I answered it for you. We've had enough, because we're here to talk about summer youth. We're here to talk about jobs," said the mayor.
The announcement was made less than two miles from the most talked-about site for a future Walmart, next door to the Gateway Center in East New York, Brooklyn.
Walmart has said to have been eyeing the plot for some time, but at this point there are no official plans to break ground.
"It's no secret that we're looking at locations across the five boroughs, store sizes small, medium and large. We don't have any announced projects yet. We don't have any leases signed in the city," said Walmart spokesman Steven Restivo. "When we do, we'll be happy to make an announcement."
That announcement would generate much more controversy than Walmart's donation to the city.