New York, Much Bigger than the Big Apple

From the hustle and bustle of New York City to the rich and diverse regions that span the state, New York is an attractive location for new and emerging businesses.

With the world’s eleventh largest economy, the Empire State puts the “oomph” in economic development. It is the headquarters for scores of companies and a place where businesses of all sizes can tap a diversely talented and experienced workforce along with other resources available in many communities. The state’s innovative, pro-growth financial incentives provide the ideal business climate for companies to thrive.

New York is a top location for international investment. IBM’s 2007 Global Location Trends Report ranked New York number one in attracting international investment among all North American destinations—including the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. New York Governor David Paterson and Empire State Development (ESD), the State’s lead economic development agency, are making great strides in fostering this type of international investment and job creation through hosting trade missions throughout the state.

In April 2009, Governor Paterson hosted nearly 60 foreign trade commissioners (FTCs), representing 39 countries, in Buffalo during a two-day trade mission with regional business leaders. This trade mission follows the success of a similar event in February, when nearly 30 FTCs convened in Albany for the first Upstate trade mission. Additional trade missions are being planned for Long Island and central New York.

“New York is ideally positioned to compete and lead in the global economy,” said Empire State Development (ESD) President and CEO Marisa Lago. “This trade mission to the Buffalo/Niagara region represents a tremendous opportunity for our businesses in Western and Upstate New York.”


• Population (2007): 19,297,729

• Largest Cities (2007): New York, 8,274,527; Buffalo, 272,632; Rochester, 206,759; Yonkers, 199,244; Syracuse, 139,079

• Targeted Industries: Tourism, Distribution, Electronics, Industrial Machinery, Media Services, Finance

• Key Incentives: Empire Zones, Power for Jobs, Investment Tax Credit, Brownfield Cleanup, Empire State Film Production Credit

GDP (All Industry 2007): $1.1 trillion*

*Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce


Last month, New York unveiled the $120-million Upstate Regional Blueprint Fund and the $35-million Downstate Revitalization Fund, which provide funding for business investment, infrastructure upgrades and downtown redevelopment.

Governor Paterson has authorized $350 million in funding for the state’s 2009 New York State Film Production Credit
Program. This funding will help attract film and television
industry business, a major sector in the Empire State.

The Restore New York Communities grant is helping to help revitalize communities in need. Local municipalities can apply for round three of Restore New York’s Communities Initiative grants, which total $150 million, and encourages economic development by providing municipalities financial assistance for revitalization of commercial and residential properties.


New York also is a global leader in the high technology sector, with recent announcements signaling that it will continue to grow stronger. In October 2008, the state announced construction of one of the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the world and one of the largest private sector industrial investments in the state’s history.

The Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) and Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County have partnered to create a new global company, now known as The Foundry Company, which will own and operate the new facility.

The Foundry Company will locate on an 180,000-square-foot chip fabrication plant with plans to produce a 22-nanometer chip, which is two generations ahead of the 45-nanometer chip which is the current cutting-edge chip. The company will be making a $4.6 billion investment in Luther Forest for one plant, which will employ more than 1,465 people. Construction of the plant will create 1,600 construction jobs, and development of the site will allow for the potential building of up to three additional chip fabrication plants.

New York State is providing a $650 million capital grant to offset the construction and research and development activities for the project. The project also is eligible for benefits through the Empire Zone program, which currently are estimated to total nearly $600 million over a 14 year period.

To continue attracting new business to the state, improve commerce, and revitalize local economies, the state recently announced several new economic development initiatives.

In May 2009, Governor Paterson released two major economic development programs—the $120 million Upstate Regional Blueprint Fund and the $35 million Downstate Revitalization Fund, which provide funding to finance business investment, infrastructure upgrades and downtown redevelopment efforts.

Both programs support projects that help provide a framework for future growth in Upstate and Downstate regions with stymied development. The programs will invest in projects that advance local development and small businesses, for instance making improvement to industrial parks and providing loans for purchase of equipment, real estate or other needs.

Gov. Paterson also announced authorization of $350 million in funding for the state’s 2009 New York State Film Production Credit Program. This funding will help New York continue to attract film and television industry business and maintain its standing as the most popular destination outside of Hollywood for filmmakers. Film and television production brings billions of dollars into the state’s economy and provides thousands of New Yorkers with jobs.


The Restore New York Communities grant is helping to help revitalize communities in need. Local municipalities can apply for round three of Restore New York’s Communities Initiative grants, which total $150 million. This initiative encourages economic development and neighborhood growth by providing municipalities with financial assistance for revitalization of commercial and residential properties.

This initiative is in its third year of funding, bringing the total amount of funding to $300 million. One example of a successful project that received grants from previous rounds of funding is the Rome Cable Remediation and Urban Revitalization Project in the City of Rome in Mohawk Valley. This $3 million project will demolish the vacant 240,000 square feet Rome Cable Building at a key location in downtown Rome, making the site ready for new mixed commercial and retail facilities, totaling 50 acres.

“The Restore NY program is an essential piece of local economic development efforts,” said Peter Baynes, Executive Director of the NY State Conference of Mayors. “The economy of the entire state will receive substantial and on-going benefits from these strategic investments.”

Overall, the state’s economic incentives have provided a range of resources to help businesses succeed. In fiscal year 2008-09, ESD approved 380 projects totaling approximately $1,117 million in grants and $13 million in loans. 110 of these projects, totaling almost $185.5 million in grants and $13 million in loans, were related to job retention and creation. Some of the most notable projects included AMD (Capital Region—1,465 new jobs), Yahoo (Western NY—125 new jobs), Nova Bus (North Country—300 pledged new jobs), and Richardson Brands (Mohawk Valley—128 jobs retained, 15 new jobs).

The Midtown Project is part of a long-term strategy for re-creating Downtown Rochester as a place to live, a center of commerce and a center of arts and culture. It is Public/Private partnership among the City of Rochester, Empire State Development (ESD), and PAETEC Holding Corporation.

PAETAC, one of the largest and fastest growing telecommunications companies in the U.S., outgrew its Perinton, NY location and plans to construct a state-of-the-art building in Midtown Plaza, the heart of Rochester’s central business district.

In 2007, as part of the Upstate Agenda, the state pledged to provide $65 million to assist in demolition and site preparation for the project, helping Rochester spur private investment and create jobs.

The remaining acreage not occupied by PAETEC will be offered for sale or lease, by the City, through a competitive process for development opportunities to the private sector. The city has already been approached by a number of developers interested in purchasing parcels that will come into the market in the next several years.

The Midtown Project has become an example of how the state is working with public and private entities to redevelop an economically stagnant area and create new opportunities to invest in Rochester.