Our economy has seen thousands of manufacturing jobs disappear in recent history and the jobs, sadly, continue to disappear. Most recently in Fulton, Birdseye, a food packaging company, stopped production this month and more than 200 workers will have to find work elsewhere. Sadly, these hard times have displaced these highly skilled workers and their families. It is my hope that another large employer can be found to purchase the site and replace those jobs lost; however, that has not happened yet.
In response to this event and the general downturn of the economy, SUNY Oswego recently opened an "e-commerce incubator" in downtown Fulton. This office will assist people in starting their own business and provide resources and direction for those with ideas on how to become self-employed. To open this incubator, the college received a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Statistics indicate that people who are nearing the end of their career often choose self-employment rather than retire. For those who have lost their jobs, self-employment also provides a viable option if people are determined, have a good idea for the marketplace, and are given the right tools and resources.
Much has changed to encourage self-employment in the state as well; it has become easier for small businesses to obtain credit and loans because of government programs. The state has established the use of State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funds for three economic development programs. These programs are designed to enable small businesses to leverage new capital and credit to help create private sector jobs. More can be found on these programs, such as Innovate NY, at http://www.esd.ny.gov/BusinessPrograms/SSBCI.html.
The State also has its Excelsior Jobs Program. This program, which was created in 2010, replaced the Empire Zone program, and consists of four components: the Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Component; the Excelsior Investment Tax Credit Component; the Excelsior Research and Development Tax Credit Component; and the Excelsior Real Property Tax Credit Component. According to its website, the Excelsior Jobs Program provides job creation and investment incentives to firms in such targeted industries as biotechnology, pharmaceutical, high-tech, clean technology, green technology, financial services, agriculture and manufacturing. Firms in these industries that create and maintain new jobs or make significant financial investment are eligible to apply for up to four new tax credits. The program encourages businesses to expand in and relocate to New York while maintaining accountability standards to guarantee that businesses deliver on job and investment commitments. With the Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit, businesses are awarded 6.85% of wages per new job to help cover payroll costs. Research and development costs also are credited.
For more information, eligible applicants should visit http://nyworks.ny.gov/, or call (315) 425-9110. If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (315) 598-5185. You also can find me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.