Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that the state will designate the area around York College in Jamaica as a tax-free zone as part of an initiative to bring new businesses and much-needed jobs to the area.
While the governor had said that the Start-Up NY program would focus heavily on job creation in upstate New York, Queens officials said they were pleased he recognized the need to spur economic growth in the borough. Start-Up NY seeks to accelerate entrepreneurialism and job creation by having businesses partner with higher education institutions and the State University of New York system, as well as other schools, to access industry experts and advanced research laboratories.
Under the program, businesses have the opportunity to operate completely tax-free for 10 years on eligible campuses and spaces.
“In a tax-free environment, no one can match what New York has to offer,” Cuomo said during the Oct. 22 launch of the Start-Up NY program. “Businesses that are looking to start up or expand, and most importantly create jobs, should look no further.”
Queens legislators lauded Cuomo for his decision, saying it will give a significant financial boost to the area.
“As downtown Jamaica continues to grow, having York College selected for the Start-Up NY program will help to continue the revitalization we have seen take place this past decade,” Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) said. “With new businesses and affordable housing units opening around York, creating this tax-free zone in the community will help entice tech entrepreneurs to Queens, bringing jobs in this developing industry with them.”
York College President Marcia Keizs too stressed the importance of the new zone.
“We look forward to working with our partners to bring emerging or expanding businesses to downtown Jamaica,” she said.
Businesses can visit www.startup-ny.com to learn more about the program and eligibility.
By Anna Gustafson