In an effort to encourage businesses to form and remain in New York State, Gov. Andrew Cuomo developed and officially launched his program called START-UP NY on Oct. 22. This program will promote the New York State economy by creating tax-free zones in the areas of educational institutions. Businesses that fall under the guidelines of the project will not be required to pay taxes for 10 years, but in order to be exempt from taxes under START-UP NY, businesses are required to be affiliated with colleges, universities or community colleges in the state. The college or university must approve a business before it is created as a part of START-UP NY. The company created is then required to support the academic mission of the college or university.
Judith Albers is the Charles L. “Bud” VanArdsdale Endowed Chair for Entrepreneurship in the School of Business. Her position was created with a goal of fostering small-business growth; therefore, she is acutely aware of the START-UP NY program.
“It is a great thing that the governor and the legislature are focusing on this,” Albers said. “If implemented correctly and with the right expectations, it can be a big success.”
She said that START-UP NY has the potential to have a positive impact on every community, including Geneseo.
Director of Geneseo’s Small Business Development Center Paul Morrell works to support entrepreneurs and increase their chances of success.
He said that because New York is known for having high taxes, the creation of tax-free zones should make the state more appealing to small businesses. Under START-UP NY, businesses will be able to develop around campuses without the burden of taxation.
Morrell said that the effect on Geneseo remains to be seen, but that it is important for colleges and universities to recognize areas in need of new businesses.
“You never know, the market has a way of leading the way,” he said. “The market will determine the types of businesses that will materialize.”
As with any new project, there are questions about how the program will work and how effective it will be.
“It’s a good promoter for startups and small business, but it won’t be truly effective until you can roll it through and attract larger business,” economics major sophomore Peter Borgesi said.
Albers said that her main concern is that people may not give the program the time that it needs to develop before judging its efficacy.
“When you’re creating brand new companies, it takes a while for them to grow, create jobs and generate revenue,” she said. “I hope that is recognized by the stakeholders in this initiative.”
With the Oct. 22 launch, businesses officially began applying for the program, which will be implemented starting Jan. 1, 2014.