As an economic development agency tasked with catalyzing and spurring economic activity, we understand the need for public scrutiny on the work we do. We get to celebrate the wins and take the blows when companies make decisions beyond our control. But at the end of the day, we take great pride in what we do to build the Broome County economy.
In an ideal world, businesses would not face stifling taxes and burdensome regulations and companies would not be drawn by the lure of incentives from another state, or in some cases, other countries.
We are among fifty states competing for investment, talent, and jobs in an intensely mobile and competitive economy. We are also a state that has perennially been ranked with one of the worst tax climates in the nation. Economic development incentives are one of the most effective ways that we can level the playing field if we are going to compete with low cost states like Texas, Alabama, and even former rust-belt states like Ohio, who are deftly using incentive programs and effective regulatory reforms to transform their economies to some of the most competitive in the nation, as outlined recently by Site Selection Magazine.
The benefits brought through our assistance are impactful to the community in different ways. For example, projects like Twin River Commons, Chenango Place, University Lofts, The Print House, and 20 Hawley have served as a catalyst for the revitalization of downtown Binghamton by repurposing vacant and blighted buildings that now bustle with several thousand vibrant Binghamton University students now living in the urban core. The Century Sunrise project will redevelop two historic Endicott Johnson buildings in the former EJ industrial spine in Johnson City and will provide modern market-rate and workforce housing right next door to the Binghamton University School of Pharmacy and UHS Wilson Hospital.
The Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. Regional Distribution Center in the Broome Corporate Park will transform a challenging vacant site into a dynamic high-tech distribution center serving more than two hundred stores in the northeast. This investment will create more than 450 jobs by a company that continues to find success here in Broome County.
We’ve also had the good fortune to assist a number of local manufacturing companies whose growth has retained good quality local jobs in Broome County. But for these incentives, these buildings and sites would’ve remained vacant or underutilized, companies would have not pursued expansion opportunities and additional revenues to the municipalities would not have been realized.
We don’t necessarily believe that incentives are a panacea for all of the economic issues facing New York. In fact, they are only a part of our overall economic development strategy. We have a very healthy and active small business lending portfolio that enables us to assist a number of small manufacturing firms and other local businesses expand.
We’ve launched a Business Retention and Expansion program to identify the critical financial needs of our small and independent business base and how we can leverage existing programs to get companies the access to capital and other resources they need to thrive. And we are a partner in the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem, because we know that the startups of today will become the local businesses of tomorrow.
Economic development is a conversation. We believe that. It’s important to understand the value our programs have brought to spur investment, eliminate blight and create jobs for Broome County. But there is much work to do. We are very committed to spurring economic development in Broome County and to do it, we will use every tool we have.
posted by Stacey