June 22, 2011

Assembly Passes Innovate NY Fund Legislation to Boost Economy, Nurture Emerging Businesses and Create Jobs
Legislation Allocates $55.4 million to Support
Small Business Growth and Access to Capital

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry Committee Chair Robin Schimminger announced the approval of legislation that would provide $55.4 million in federal funds available through the State Small Business Credit Initiative to the Innovate NY Fund, the New York State Capital Access Program (CAP) and the Bonding Guarantee Assistance Program.

A key component of the bill (A.8452/Schimminger) would establish the "Innovate NY Fund," a new economic development program focused on investing in emerging industries that will fuel economic growth in New York State.

"The Innovate NY Fund will help nurture oour innovation-based economy by leveraging private-sector investments for the support and development of highly advanced products and technologies in New York State," said Speaker Silver (D-Manhattan). "By making this 'seed-stage' capital available, we will be able to attract emerging technology firms, create jobs and increase economic activity throughout our state."

"This new economic development tool will enable our state to provide critical support to emerging businesses that will be producing much-sought after products and technologies in New York communities using New York workers," said Schimminger (D-Kenmore). "The Innovate NY Fund's seed money combined with New York State's many other economic development tools will position our state to experience healthier job creation."

Administered by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD), the Innovate NY Fund would distribute $25 million in federal dollars to economic development and technology development organizations, research universities and investment funds that focus on making seed-stage investments.

The legislation would require the funds to be invested in New York based, seed-stage companies that have substantial potential for growth and job development in an emerging technology field. Priority would be given to companies involved in the commercialization of research and development or high-tech manufacturing.

Silver noted that while Assembly's economic development approach has yielded promising and successful results, especially its investments in academic research and development, New York still lags significantly behind other states in the support of emerging high technology businesses and products.

"I commend Assemblyman Schimminger and the other members of the Assembly Majority for listening to the needs of the state's technology based economic development community," said Silver. "My colleagues and I recognize the importance of seed money and the need for our state to become more competitive."

"We understand that the Innovate NY Fund is crucial to the successful commercialization of New York State's technological discoveries and our ability to create the jobs and business opportunities of tomorrow," added the Speaker.

The measure also would increase access to credit for small businesses and manufacturers through the New York State Capital Access Program (CAP).

In addition, this bill would allocate approximately $10 million to The Bonding Guarantee Assistance Program to provide additional financial backing to guarantee bonds to assist small business and minority-owned or women-owned business enterprises with construction projects.