SANBORN – Niagara County Community College President James P. Klyczek said Friday that he expects a joint application from the college and the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency for the Start-Up New York program.
The promotion, cooked up last year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, gives a 10-year exemption from all types of taxes to new businesses that open within a mile of any of the 64 State University of New York campuses.
The employees of those businesses also won’t have to pay state income taxes for a decade.
“That’s a great recruitment tool,” Klyczek said.
All SUNY-affiliated schools, including community colleges, are required to submit a plan for Start-Up New York participation. Klyczek said NCCC’s application, being compiled by Vice President of Academic Affairs Eunice Bellinger, is “75 to 80 percent done.”
The application is supposed to catalog available space on or near campus and the types of businesses that would correspond to academic programs at the college.
Start-Up New York was a prime topic of discussion at last week’s meeting of the IDA board. The board’s members thought Start-Up should have taken the role of industrial development agencies into account.
“This creates another agency and could create confusion,” Chairman Henry M. Sloma said. “I think the usual path is for a business to go the IDA route. That’s been flipped a little bit, because all 64 campuses of SUNY are supposed to be the pipeline.”
Sloma said, “I don’t know why. It seems to me they have enough to do. We’re the professionals. The legislation didn’t include us.”
But Klyczek said the college has met with the IDA and assured it a seat on any committee that reviews business applications.
“They’d automatically be vetted by the IDA,” Klyczek said. “They have so many more resources than we do.” The Start-Up program’s one-mile rule applies not only to NCCC’s main 300-acre campus in Sanborn, but also to its outlying locations. Those include the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute; the Small Business Development Center office in downtown Lockport’s Bewley Building; and the NCCC outpost in the Trott Access Center at Portage Road and 11th Street in the Falls.
Klyczek said the college already has been approached by a couple of business people interested in a Start-Up project in Sanborn or near the Culinary Institute. He called it “a very small possible pilot project.”
“Ideally, they want start-ups, but you can get help for businesses doing expansions,” Klyczek said.
One of the problems with bringing Start-Up benefits to downtown Niagara Falls is that “hospitality” businesses, such as restaurants and lodgings, are not eligible. Sloma said that exclusion leaves out “a big chunk of downtown Niagara Falls.”
Klyczek said, “I think hospitality should be covered in downtown Niagara Falls, because that’s our industry.”