By Sarah E. Bishop Executive Director Buffalo First:
Congratulations on your victory last night.
We look forward to having a governor as loyal and proud as the communities he represents, who believes in New York’s assets and potential, and who does his due diligence to support the development of local independent businesses, a growing economy, diverse culture and sustainable future.
New York is a state built on hard-working people from across its landscape. New York is not just Manhattan. Cities like Buffalo have a vital role to play in preservation, revitalization, economic growth and development. Although less than 15 percent of the population resides here, our natural resources and labor go a long way in driving the economic, social, cultural, and political train of the rest of the state.
Now that you’ve campaigned and have now been elected, it is time to govern. So let’s get to work. Together.
Just over a month ago, you unveiled in Buffalo your New York Works agenda, a plan that will set New York State on a path to long-term prosperity. With great conviction, you committed to aggressive business development efforts and unique solutions to both sustain and revitalize the state economy with particular attention to western New York. Your proposed initiatives included lowering the cost of doing business in the state, cutting through bureaucratic “red tape” and putting New Yorkers back to work through programs like the “Jobs Now” tax credits.
Your programs are praiseworthy and necessary for creating a “business-friendly” environment in which entrepreneurs have more support and fewer restrictions from the government. New York State can benefit greatly from a newly generated tax base that these plans would produce, enable the filling of budgetary gaps, and significantly reduce the deficit.
But don’t stop there.
Set an even bolder agenda, Mr. Cuomo, and then take swift action necessary to see it through.
Make our state a leading green example through legislation and executive actions that promote and incentivize real change and long-term sustainability.
Support the passage of A11498 NYS Benefit Corporation Legislation. A comprehensive economic development plan is not in New York’s foreseeable future unless the state allows for this new entity. A marketplace of B Corporations, projected to reach 5-7% of U.S. GDP — the current size of the non-profit sector — comprised of socially-conscious and sustainably-aware businesses is knocking on our door. We would be best served to let them in.
Good practices should not be mistaken for good marketing – for too long, a good image (often without substance to back it up) has defined the criteria for tax and investment incentives and government purchasing preferences. Instead, these economic tools should be reserved for sustainable businesses that enhance our community, believe in the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit), and inspire others to do the same.
Mr. Governor-Elect, we support you as you strive for a local independent economy for New York State and hope that a new administration also ushers in a new era – one of the social entrepreneur.
Sarah E. Bishop