START-UP New York Preps For Applicants

New York colleges participating in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s START-UP New York initiative will begin accepting applications from businesses on Jan. 1.

The START-UP New York legislation was adopted in June. The goal of the initiative is to establish tax-free zones of up to 200,000 square feet for new or recently expanding businesses that are adding net new jobs, within one mile of a SUNY campus.

Companies selected to participate will be absolved from income, sales, property and business or corporate state or local taxes in its first five years. In the subsequent five years, companies will pay varying amounts in taxes based on income.

“It’s an investment opportunity to attract business — start ups as well as existing businesses that are expanding to New York,” SUNY New Paltz Community and Government Relations Associate Richard Winters said.

Winters, along with President Donald Christian and Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for Communication Shelly Wright will be leading the search for potential companies that would be involved in the initiative.

The trio will be looking for businesses that the school will have the potential to establish and maintain partnerships with, Winters said.

Each campus participating in START-UP New York must develop and submit a plan that outlines the school’s mission and what kind of relationship it wants to have with a prospective business. The drafts are due for submission at the end of this month and are sent to the SUNY system for review first, before it will go to the governor’s economic development, Wright said.

Winters said the draft plans ensure that the businesses selected for this partnership align with the mission of the school.

When evaluating individual businesses that have applied, Winters said the school is taking into account the ways students will be affected and how they can benefit. The evaluation criteria can be encapsulated into three points:

That the business aligns with academic mission of New Paltz — that there is a clear connection in regards to the disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs.

Making sure the business will provide opportunities to current students in the form of internships, giving students a “critical” out of classroom educational experience, as well as professors that the way of research possibilities.

Ensure that the business and the college can establish a “framework for a lasting relationship,” that students will have the chance to build employment opportunities by way of internships.

Winters said potential businesses would have to match up with the school’s core academic strengths.

Both Winters and Christian acknowledged the school’s 3D printing program, which was awarded additional state funding by the Economic Development Council on Wednesday, Dec. 11, could serve as an opportunity to position the school with businesses in that field.

However, Winters said they are open to an array of possibilities.

“We’re certainly open to considering and reviewing interests in other areas that align with the diverse academic strengths of the college,” Winters said.

Companies have already begun to apply for the program through online registry via In the sign up process, businesses can select to apply specifically to be involved in one of the 10 regions. They include: the Capital District, Central New York, the Finger Lakes, Long Island, Mohawk Valley, New York City, North Country, Southern Tier, Western New York and the Mid-Hudson, of which New Paltz is a part.

Companies have until Dec. 31, 2020 to submit their business for inclusion in the initiative, “making it a long term opportunity, in a sense,” Winters said.

Once the school begins to work with specific companies, Winters said they will be able to take into consideration the particulars of what the company may need and measuring those necessities up against the available infrastructure that the New Paltz community has to offer.

Part of that process is locating a space for future companies.

Christian said that a space deficit on campus has eliminated the possibility of leasing school space to START-UP New York companies and has narrowed the scope of options to vacant commercial spaces within the region.

According to the law, senate bill 5903-2013, there is a cap of 10,000 on the total number of employees that can be hired state wide through START-UP New York each year.