Albany Office: Room 536 Legislative Office Building, Albany, NY 12248, (518) 455-5414
District Office: One Fordham Plaza, Suite 1008 10th Floor, Bronx, NY 10458, (718) 933-2204
news from

For Immediate Release
June 25, 2009
For More Information Call:
Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy
(518) 455-5203

Legislature Approves Bill to Assist "Chocolate-Chip Fab" Plants

Measure provides start-up and expansion funding for not-for-profit sponsors of small-scale food processing facilities

Albany - Assemblyman José Rivera (D-Bronx), Chair of the Assembly's Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy is pleased to join with former Chair, Assemblywoman Vivian Cook (Queens), to announce passage of a bill (A4166) developed ten years ago to provide state economic development funding for facilities that provide kitchen space for start-up small food businesses to prepare, process and package their products to sell. The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Cook, and co-sponsored by Rivera, has passed both houses of the legislature this year, and is waiting to be sent to the Governor.

"We need to help small businesses and farmers who want to sell locally-produced foods in our communities. One of the most common ways that immigrants, especially women, enter into our economy is by developing a great recipe or family dish into a profitable product that can be sold. Many farmers also have recognized they can make more money by processing the food they grow and selling it at retail rather than wholesale. You don't need an advanced degree or an investment banker to start making a sauce or become a street vendor but it could help to have a licensed kitchen to work in, and receive help with business development and applying for loans. This bill would provide State funding for shared kitchen space or a kitchen incubator program for these businesses," according to Rivera.

The growth of small, individually-owned food businesses is often dependent on affordable, available processing space, financing, management assistance and other services that can nurture an emerging firm.