Cuomo renaming, modifying Start-Up NY program

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Source: Albany Times Union

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to make several changes to his signature Start-Up NY economic development program and rename it the Excelsior Business Program.

The proposal was included in his fiscal 2018 budget released late Tuesday.

The changes simplify the current Start-Up NY program's eligibility requirements and focus the program more exclusively on smaller, early-stage companies.

The tax benefits were also enhanced by "making available refundable tax credits that are not dependent upon the profitability of participants," according to a budget memo.

Jason Conwall, a spokesman for Empire State Development, noted that the Start-Up NY board will remain in place and that the changes will make the administration of the program more efficient.

"This program remains in place and the proposed adjustments, which are based on feedback from businesses, will help it reach its full potential," Conwall said. "We remain firmly committed to the model (of) innovative academia-business partnerships coupled with performance-based, tax-free incentives, which was a brand new concept when it began and has resulted in commitments for more than 4,000 high-paying jobs across New York State over the next five years."

Critics of Start-Up NY have said the cost of promoting the program outweighed the benefits, although the program has been popular with tech startups in downtown Schenectady and Troy.

Under the new rules, participants would only be required to be a "start-up or early stage businesses conducting research and development or market testing for new products and services."

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