STAFF REPORTSThe Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — Entrepreneurs and small-business owners have a new resource designed to connect them with valuable subsidies and other information as part of the New York's "open for business" campaign.
The state has launched a new website for small-business owners across the state, providing a rundown of available fiancial assistance as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Small Business Outreach Initiative launched earlier this year.
The site, www.thenewny.com, boasts sections designed to help entrepreneurs locate property, identify markets, leverage state subsidies and make use of the state's new regional economic development councils.
Links provide quick access to information for all areas of business assistance available through various state programs, and are designed to address topics from starting a business, to accessing tax credits and funding incentives, to international trade and obtaining regional assistance.
"This is a one-stop shop for all businesses to successfully thrive in New York," Cuomo said in a press release.
Funding and tax incentive information, startup assistance and ways to work directly with the state's regional economic development teams are included.
The state recently created 10 regional councils representing as many economic zones statewide. Each council has since been asked to develop a strategic plan to capitalize on its regional strengths.
Businesses whose plan matches their local council's development goals are in turn eligible for various funding. The site offers a link to forms for each council's consolidated funding application, which includes a dizzying range of assistance grants through more than a dozen state agencies.
Available funding, at quick glance, includes up to $247 million in direct assistance to businesses, $61.2 million for community development, $3 million for agricultural development, and more for workforce development, green initiatives and dozens of other categories.
The greater state program includes input from a team of ranking state employees from the departments of state, labor, taxation and finance, as well as Empire State Development, the Liquor Authority, and the Workers Compensation Board. State representatives have already traveled to every region to meet with business owners about programs intended to help small businesses.
"This program is all about creating jobs because when small businesses do well, New York does well," Cuomo said. "It's so important for us to get out of the office and go into communities to see how we can help anyone who wants to start, grow or improve a business and that's what this program will do."