Legislation will protect small businesses throughout rural, Upstate NY

Both houses of the New York State Legislature this week approved legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara to create jobs and encourage small business growth throughout rural, upstate New York.

The legislation now goes to Governor Andrew Cuomo to be signed into law.

“Many communities across rural, upstate New York remain in dire need of private-sector investment to help create jobs and encourage small businesses to grow and expand,” said O’Mara, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “This action would be a big step forward to draw greater private-sector investment in rural economies.”

The “New York Rural and Agriculture Jobs Act” O’Mara co-sponsors would establish a $100-million fund, created through private investment, to develop small businesses that are agricultural in nature or located in rural areas.

If signed into law by the governor, the measure would improve access to capital for agriculture and rural small businesses that sometimes find it hard to obtain financial backing through traditional lending sources. Private investors who contribute to the new program would receive a tax credit. Reporting requirements are also included so taxpayers will know the exact benefits of the investments.

The legislation has drawn the support from key advocates including the Business Council of New York and Unshackle Upstate.

According to a legislative memorandum of support from Unshackle Upstate, “It is critically important that New York State continue to explore ways and methods that will aid and promote economic development and job creation. This focus becomes even more imperative for many communities across Upstate New York that continue to struggle with a lack of private sector job growth and population stagnation. Ensuring that we have successful farming and agricultural businesses are essential to the state’s overall economy and focus, and continued investment in these areas will only bolster New York State as a whole.”

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