By Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Pulaski)
The Governor’s office recently debuted a new web site titled “New York First—The Gateway to Success in New York.” New York First is a business-focused site that houses incentives, programs and resources available to businesses and muncipalities. In some ways, it is also the digital face of New York, geared to attract businesses that are in the market for a new location or expansion, seeking to relocate here. To that end, there are a number of helpful resources businesses can access listed on the website.
The following can be found at New York First. Prior to this site, businesses had to navigate several different sites to find the same information:
* A catalog of the state’s business incentives and resources listed for agriculture, technology, financial services, nanotechnology, and life services. Some business categories feature tax advantages.
* A list of economic development resources by region.
* Links for municipalities on how community leaders may go about attracting businesses to their cities, towns and villages, maximizing local resources, and improving infrastructure to attract large and small businesses.
* Links to creating a business plan and starting a business, export and trade assistance, small business assistance, location-based assistance.
* Tax information for any kind of business.
The site also includes purchasing and procurement help. In the past, contractors have complained that doing business with the state is difficult because of the process they must navigate. In response, the state Office of General Services and Empire State Development posted a “comprehensive and interactive guide” on the state’s purchasing and procurement practices. Users of the directory are guided through a series of topics to understand how to find bid opportunities, learn tips for successful bidding and discover resources for technical assistance with government contracting. The guide functions as a mini website with hyperlinks to in-depth information. It can also be printed and used as a booklet.
Also something new is a guarantee that every email or phone call they receive will get a response within one business day and a mobile version for easy access from any iPhone, iPad or Blackberry.
I am encouraged by the web site for our state. It is a great step in keeping with our global economy as well. However, more can be done to keep and attract businesses, such as changing our tax policies to become more business friendly and lowering the cost of doing business. Our health care and energy costs remain among the highest in the nation. All of these costs affect the small business owner. Our state should provide tax incentives to manufacturers who maintain jobs at a certain level. We can also provide education grants to business owners and employees for necessary coursework to support micro-enterprise business. These incentives would go a long way toward keeping and attracting businesses as well.
To view the site, go to www.nyfirst.ny.gov. If you would prefer to talk to someone about starting a business, call 1-800-STATE-NY (782-8369). If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185.