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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Monday, September 25, 2017

New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo set out to change the name and rebrand his Start-Up NY economic development program. He said the name change was intended to align the program with the State’s other economic development programs, also called Excelsior, the state motto. Republican and Democratic legislators, however, blocked him from changing the name. The Assembly was not keen on the program all together, complaining about the extravegant $53 million marketing campaign.  “The state had already invested heavily in advertising so it didn’t make a lot of sense in our view,” said Michael Whyland, spokesman for Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

“Our intention was to close down Start-Up NY,” said Scott Reif, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Smithtown). “It hasn’t been successful.”  In a compromise, the Senate GOP agreed to allow the program to continue for two more years, but only under its original name.

Start-Up NY provides 10 years of tax relief to businesses that launch or relocate into designated areas close to college campuses. As per the NY Post, the program has not been instantly successful at creating the new jobs. In its first two years, it produced only 408 jobs.  Last year, it added 757 jobs, bringing the total to 1,135, as reported by the Empire State Development Corp.  The 212 businesses enrolled in the program have pledged to create 4,403 jobs over five years. To keep that promise, they would need to add 3,268 new jobs over the next two years — far exceeding the achievements in the first three years.

By: Ilana Siyance