Doing Business in New York State | Trade and Industry Development

Doing Business in New York State

Oct 31, 2009 | By: Dennis M. Mullen

The attention of the business world is focused on New York State – and with good reason. The state’s educated workforce, innovative industries and technologies, natural resources, and world-renowned universities have uniquely positioned it to grow emerging technologies and compete in the global markets. Further, the state, through a strong commitment to business and highly competitive economic incentives, is creating the ideal business climate in which companies of all types, from established to newly emerging industries, can thrive.

Empire State Development (ESD), the state’s economic development agency, is bringing prosperity to New Yorkers by establishing New York State as a world-class business location through the provision of expert assistance and quality services to businesses and by fostering strategic partnerships to maximize their resources. The economic incentives available – including those for research and development, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, small businesses and workforce training, among others – offer some of the best opportunities for companies looking to grow and create new jobs, and continue to increase the economic viability of those who opt to locate there.

New York – a Distribution Hub
New York is a major national center of distribution-related activity and home to major distribution centers, such as Gap Inc., Wal-Mart, Target, Staples, Home Depot, Pep Boys, Ace Hardware and Kohl’s. Not surprising, given New York State’s unparalleled market proximity and host of resources and incentives specifically designed for distribution centers.

The state is within 500 miles of more than half the population of the United States, as well as more than 60 percent of Canada’s population. Located at the crossroads between New England, the Mid-Atlantic states, Quebec, Ontario and the Midwest, the state’s extensive transportation system includes: superb harbors, deep water ports and waterways; the largest containership facilities in the world; thousands of miles of modern highways and railways; and hundreds of air handling facilities, including one of the world’s largest air cargo centers, John F. Kennedy International Airport. Add it all up and it equals a locale ideally situated for competitive distribution activities and international commerce.

New York State’s most recent distribution attraction success is CVS. In June 2009, Governor David A. Paterson announced that the State of New York and CVS/pharmacy finalized plans to purchase property for the construction of a 750,000 square foot distribution center in Chemung County, bringing 600 new jobs to the region.

Empire State Development will provide the company with a $4 million JOBS Now Capital grant to be disbursed in 2011 as project milestones are completed. In addition to ESD’s grant, the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) will provide a $750,000 grant to Chemung County through the New York State Community Development Block Grant program to help extend water lines and other infrastructure to the development site. The new distribution center will support the inventory and fulfillment needs of approximately 350 CVS/pharmacy stores in the region.

The state’s distribution-friendly infrastructure also offers a host of pro-business resources and incentives to keep costs down and boost profits: suitable sites and buildings at competitive prices; numerous prime, pre-approved, permitted, ready-to-occupy distribution center sites; availability of skilled workers; workforce training and development; no inventory tax; and no taxes for third party distribution centers. In addition, New York’s aggressive Build Now-NY program offers pre-approved sites that will be fast-tracked for development.

According to the most recent New York State Department of Labor statistics, there are 256,000 employed in the distribution field, with an average annual wage of $57,000.

New York – a Materials Processing Hotbed
In addition to the distribution industry, New York State is home to countless world-leading materials processing companies, including Alcoa, Corning Inc., E.I. Dupont Inc. and Pactiv Corp. Many are at the forefront of cutting-edge technological advancements and investments. Materials produced in New York provide the “enabling technology” for sectors such as electronics, computers, telecommunications, transportation, aerospace, medical equipment, and construction and consumer products.

University research programs can work hand-in-hand with businesses to assure that new products and solutions developed in university and business sponsored laboratories move rapidly into commercial production. A testament to the state’s dynamic materials processing sector is Corning Inc.’s decision to dramatically expand new and existing research and manufacturing operations in New York’s “Ceramics Corridor” – a concentration of advanced materials firms in the Southern Tier of the state.

Specific support for this industry’s research and development, and for the commercialization of new advanced materials through incubators, is fostered by New York State Centers for Advanced Technology (CATs). At each CAT, researchers from New York’s leading universities work side-by-side with their counterparts in large and small companies to develop new technologies. The CAT program capitalizes on New York’s outstanding university research resources, and uses them to help New York businesses gain a technological edge on their competition.

According to the most recent New York State Department of Labor statistics, there are 72,400 employed in the materials processing field (12,100 in primary metals and 24,300 in plastics and rubber) with an average annual wage of $52,700.

New York – Providing Assistance
With all that New York State has to offer, it is especially committed to providing assistance to small and large businesses attempting to meet the challenges of creating new products, entering new markets and improving production. Empire State Development’s professionals can help businesses elevate their workforce to help it meet the highest standards. ESD offers businesses financial support and technical resources to offset costs for new hires and existing worker training. Whether company goals include Total Quality Management, statistical process control, self-directed work teams, faster turn around, new market penetration, or ISO standard achievement, ESD can help find the best workers and maximize performance.

Despite the current economic challenges, ESD will continue its efforts across the state to assist businesses and encourage economic investment and prosperity for New York. Not only is it energizing New York’s manufacturing industry through the attraction and retention of businesses to critical hubs throughout the state, it is aggressively pursuing economic investment by engaging in deals that attract investment, drive growth, support innovation and create jobs.

ESD’s strong team of economic development professionals is also furthering the progress of important development projects, such as the revitalization of Rochester’s Downtown core and Buffalo’s Erie Canal Inner Harbor and the construction of both Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Javits Convention Center. These projects will not only foster sustainable growth, create jobs and revive the economy, but will expand opportunities for all New Yorkers.

New York has the brightest minds, the best universities, the most dynamic companies and a thriving tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship.  For more information, please visit

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