In Albany: Sen. James Seward

New York’s economy needs help. You don’t need a degree in economics to know that our upstate economy lags the rest of the state and the rest of the nation. As the national economy has grown and performed well over the last four years, New York’s growth in jobs and economic activity trails.

That’s why my colleagues in the state senate and I have announced that a series of community business roundtable forums will be held across upstate New York to highlight the pressing need for a comprehensive job creation and economic growth plan for the region. The first event is taking place this week at the SUNY Institute of Technology campus near Utica.

The economic roundtable events include participation by local business and academic leaders.

Many New Yorkers’ top priority is economic development and the creation of new jobs. Especially in our portion of New York, people want a real plan and state policies to encourage businesses to locate and grow in upstate New York. The hearings, and the economic development plan advanced by the senate, will help us achieve the goal of more jobs upstate.

Upstate cities and towns are in desperate need of a real plan that will invest in the local economy and create good paying jobs. I have made it my priority to work with my colleagues to develop innovative solutions to make doing business in New York more affordable and attractive to companies looking to locate and or expand here. I look forward to working with a variety of local business, civic and government leaders to improve upon our existing economic development package and put forth a plan that achieves the goal of revitalizing the upstate economy.

I hear two concerns from my constituents – property taxes and the need for jobs and a growing upstate economy. “It’s important to hear from business owners what they need to grow, expand, and produce the kinds of jobs that will offer young people the chance to stay in New York and find the careers of their choice.

Among the topics to be addressed at the series of “roundtable” discussions will be the following: reducing the tax burden on businesses and property taxpayers; promoting growth in traditional industries such as agriculture and manufacturing, as well as in new and emerging technologies; the need for capital investments in upstate’s infrastructure and key economic development projects; helping families pay for college and encouraging young New Yorkers to remain in upstate following graduation; reducing energy and health care costs; and promoting upstate’s outstanding historic, environmental, and cultural resources.

The forums will also highlight the need for the enactment of the senate majority’s omnibus “Upstate Now” legislation, which represents the only comprehensive job creation and economic growth plan to be introduced in Albany this year.

The 10-point “Upstate Now” plan (S.5953) would invest a total of more than $3.7 billion in economic development initiatives over the next three years, including new tax relief and incentives, new and existing capital investments and private sector matching funds.

The senate’s proposal would: reduce taxes, energy and health care costs for employers; provide upstate with a 21st century economic infrastructure; strengthen small businesses, manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and other key industries; make upstate an international leader in new and emerging technologies; revitalize downtowns and local communities throughout the region; support clean, renewable energy initiatives; strengthen our workforce; and enact sweeping reforms to make the upstate region more business-friendly and economically competitive.

We need the same level of concern for our upstate economy from the assembly and the governor’s office.

I look forward to working with local business and civic leaders to develop state policies that help create jobs and move our economy forward so that New York can once again claim the title of “Empire State.”

Senator Seward’s office web site is

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