Statism vs. capitalism: Orange County has already chosen. You, New York State?

This week Enterprise Development Director Peter Gregory and I had the opportunity to attend this year’s New York State Business Council’s Annual Meeting at The Sagamore on Lake George. Entrepreneurial spirit flowed through the air as early-stage innovators and global and regional corporate executives gathered to talk business.

While up there, we saw many familiar faces, including Orange County Chamber of Commerce President John D’Ambrosio and Rockland Business Association President Al Samuels, who both received recognition on behalf of their organization’s proactive roles in business leadership. Buffalo businessman and gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli were both guest speakers at the annual conference and trade show.

Though much of the week yielded optimism and enthusiasm, you couldn’t help but notice that everyone was frustrated about one thing- the future of taxes in New York State. In the last ten years, the state budget has doubled and in the last two years taxes have gone up $15 billion (much are business-related taxes). There is a trend of businesses leaving New York State and the rest have been left to fend for themselves, as Albany’s plan for handling business has been to ignore business.

What they should do is take a page out of Orange County’s book. Orange County government and the Orange County Industrial Development Agency have been proactive in bringing new business to this great county with the creation of Orange County Business Accelerator.

Instead of ignoring the needs of businesses around the state, Albany should be providing more assistance to early-stage entrepreneurs, especially those interested in alternative energy and new technologies, as Orange County has done.

The Accelerator has nearly filled its current space with 11 early stage innovators working behind its doors. More than 30 people now work within its doors and a projected 300 high-tech, high-pay jobs could be created by its current clients in the next five years.

Orange County has stepped up to the plate, and now the Accelerator is here – in business for your business.

 Now it’s time for New York State to do the same.

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