empire state development

The head of New York state’s economic development agency says a recent report questioning its success is flawed.

In his testimony to a state Legislature budget hearing, outgoing Empire State Development Corporation Commissioner Kenneth Adams said the comptroller’s report on his agency is misleading.

Gov. Cuomo's office / via Flickr

New York’s plan to attract new business and jobs to the state by offering them tax-free space at public colleges is underway. Officials Tuesday outlined for the first time specifics about how the program will work.

They tried to lay out the plan as simply as possible:

"There’s no fine print. There’s no trips and traps, caveats; there’s no taxes," said Executive Vice President of Startup-NY Leslie Whatley in a conference call with reporters.

WBFO News file photo

Empire State Development approved funding for two upstate food and agriculture related measures in their meeting Friday.

Farmers in upstate New York will soon have a new place to take their produce for processing and packaging. The ESD unanimously approved the allocation of three grants to the Growing Upstate Food Hub in Canastota village, near Syracuse.

New York state's economic development agency and tax office have appointed an ombudswoman to, according to the state release, better connect the agencies with the business community.

Mwisa Chisunka will be the state's first Business Ombudswoman and Director of Business Tax Services and Education. She'll work with the Empire State Development Corp. (ESD) and Department of Taxation and Finance.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Every year, New York state gives out millions in tax incentives, loans and economic development grants to the private sector. Every state does it, and New York has little choice if it wants to prevent companies from leaving, but additional attention is now being paid to the incentives going to the state's gun industry.

In a letter sent Jan. 3 to Empire State Development President Kenneth Adams, State Senator Liz Krueger urged an end to incentives for the firearms industry. 

“I’m still awaiting a formal letter of response, but I have been assured that this was a grant made in a previous administration, not in Governor Cuomo’s administration, and the moneys that were committed have been spent,” says Krueger.