SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher said today that more than 1,100 companies have inquired about setting up shop within tax-free zones on college campuses.
The START-Up NY program was established by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June and is set to take effect Jan. 1.
“Through START-UP, SUNY campuses now serve as a beacon of opportunity for new and expanding businesses to bring their innovation – and the dollars that come with it – to New York,” Zimpher testified at an Assembly hearing today.
The program has been hailed by Cuomo and supporters as a way to drive economic development upstate and offset New York’s high taxes.
But critics have said it would create haves and have nots in New York: Existing businesses would be a competitive disadvantage.
Zimpher praised the effort, saying it will strengthen the public college’s role in their communities.
“The Governor has touted this program as the most exciting economic development initiative in the country, and our campuses get that,” Zimpher said. “Already, they are engaged with potential partners and developing plans to strategically harness this opportunity in ways that will best support their goals for academic and student success.”
Here’s Zimpher’s testimony: