Monthly Archives: September 2013

Montgomery County receives National Grid grant

Montgomery County received grant money from National Grid to help the county create a brand that identifies what is unique about the area and enhance economic development efforts.

The $40,000 grant will fund half of the $80,000 project.

“Our grant constitutes a strategic investment in Montgomery County’s economic future and a vote of confidence in our economic development partner, the Montgomery County Industrial Development Agency,” National Grid Regional Executive Director William Flaherty said in a release.

A survey developed to identify unique qualities can be found online.

Connect with businesses and members at the Annual Meeting

The Business Council of New York State’s 2013 Annual Meeting starts this Wednesday, September 25 and runs through Friday, 27.  The event at The Sagamore Resort on Lake George features a lineup of A-list speakers focusing on the economy, education, politics, and healthcare.

Attendees will be able to connect one-on-one and network with some of the leading businesses in New York, including event exhibitors and sponsors.

Education Commissioner John King will talk about bringing excellence back to the Empire State through Common Core. Empire State Development Corporation President Kenneth Adams will address what is needed to revive upstate New York.  Experts will discuss the Affordable Care Act and what businesses need to know.

Brandon Steiner, CEO of Steiner Sports, is the featured keynote speaker, he will share his tips for business success. And, the YNN Capitol Tonight Insiders – Liz Benjamin, Robert Bellafiore and Steve Greenberg will update businesses on the political landscape in Albany.

Live broadcasts from the event include WCNY’s Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter, Talk 1300’s The Paul Vandenburgh Show and Fred Dicker Live.

Kevin Burke, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Consolidated Edison, Inc. will be awarded the prestigious Business Council Corning Award for Excellence and The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce will be presented with The Business Council’s Chamber of the Year award.

Online or onsite registration is available for member and non-member companies interested in attending who do business in New Your state.

Former energy secretary says drilling can be done safely

President Obama’s former Energy Secretary Stephen Chu says drilling for shale gas can be done safely.  At a recent keynote address to America’s Natural Gas Alliance, he said the availability of natural gas from shale will lead to lower gas prices and that it is possible to drill in an environmentally responsible way.

Chu also dismissed a 2011 study that raised concerns about methane leakage from gas production which is often cited by environmentalists.  The study was also refuted this week by University of Texas researchers who said methane gases released from wells were much lower than previously stated.

Saint Rose open house for adults

The College of Saint Rose will hold an Open House for adult students interested in furthering their careers by pursuing graduate studies on

Tuesday, October 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the Carondelet Symposium, Thelma P. Lally School of Education, 1009 Madison Ave., Albany.

Prospective students can learn how their educational needs may be met through graduate study at Saint Rose. Admissions representatives will be available to answer questions regarding the College’s 52 master’s degrees and 26 advanced certificate programs, financial aid opportunities, campus resources and the application process.

The October 8 Open House is free and open to the public. Advance reservations are requested.  To reserve a space, and to obtain more information, contact the Saint Rose Graduate Admissions Office at 518-454-5143, e-mail or visit

DOB says bond market confident in NYS

The New York State Division of Budget announced that the bond market has reacted favorably to the sale of New York State Personal Income Tax Revenue Bonds. Strong investor interest resulted in nine bids for each group of bonds. The sales were conducted by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and are scheduled to be delivered on September 26, 2013.

“The market’s reaction to New York’s bond sale is another strong affirmation of the progress we have made to put New York’s fiscal house in order,” said State Budget Director Robert Megna. “After years of late budgets and legislative gridlock, confidence in government is being restored. The affirmation of the markets is the ultimate test.”

Winning bids for the bonds valued at $753,055,000 went to Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Additionally, Moody’s Investor Services recently moved New York’s outlook to positive. According to their report released August 22, 2013, New York has made “notable improvements in the state’s economy, governance, financial position, and budgetary balance over the past three fiscal years.”

Read more on the Department of Budget website.

State grants support infrastructure throughout NY

New York has awarded $48 million in grants for transportation improvements across the state. The grants, from the Governor’s Transit and Aviation Capital Grants programs, and the Passenger and Freight Rail Assistance program, will be coupled with an additional $80 million in federal, state and local funding to improve transportation infrastructure and support economic development.

The state awarded $21 million in Transit Capital grants to 14 municipalities and transportation authorities. Seven million was awarded through the Governor’s Aviation Capital Grants Program to support 21 airport infrastructure projects, and $20 million went to 14 rail capital projects through the Passenger and Freight Rail Assistance Program.

The full list of grant awards is available online.

Natural gas by the numbers: Part 2

Today’s “Natural Gas Number” is 34. That’s the number of weeks that have passed since state Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah declared the department’s assessment of draft natural gas drilling regulations would be complete “in the next few weeks.”

“On January 30 of this year, it appeared that Dr. Shah was set to release the findings of his health assessment; his work, it seemed, was nearly complete. Yet, in subsequent weeks he inexplicably distanced himself from that statement,” said Brad Gill, IOGA of NY executive director. “Just this week, a new study concluded new natural gas development in Ohio has generated 38,000 jobs, and a University of Texas study showed methane leaks from drill sites are dramatically lower than EPA estimates. As those “few weeks” have now turned into 34 weeks, we can safely conclude the process is being held up by other reasons than scientific ones.”

IOGA of NY also said that today, September 20, marks the 1,886th day since the moratorium was imposed.

New York job numbers for August

The New York economy added 22,700 private sector jobs in August 2013, for a growth rate of 0.3 percent, according to preliminary figures released by the New York State Department of Labor. This raised New York state’s private sector job count to 7,459,600. Nationally, the private sector job count grew by 0.1 percent in August 2013.

Between July and August 2013, New York State’s unemployment rate increased from 7.5% to 7.6% due to the states expanding labor force, which grew by 24,500 in August.

Ken Pokalsky, vice president of government affairs for The Business Council of New York State, Inc. recently wrote about New York’s economy for The Council’s publication, Connect.

Jobs and revitalizing New York’s economy will also be a central theme discussed at The Council’s Annual Meeting next week at The Sagamore Resort. Members and non-members still have time to register and get involved in this important conversation.

New York funds Niagara Falls tourism project

New York will provide of $2.75 million in funding for a tourism and economic development project in the western part of the state.  The Hamister Group, Inc. will undertake a $25.3 million project that will consist of 110 upscale hotel rooms, 24 market-rate residential rental apartments, and up to 8,000 square feet of ground-level retail. The project is estimated to generate between 200 and 300 jobs during construction and create 70 permanent jobs.

The City Council recently voted in favor of the project, which is located at a city-owned site at 310 Rainbow Boulevard in downtown Niagara Falls, New York.

Governor Cuomo said. “This project will support new jobs and tax revenue, spurring economic activity for the whole region… this significant investment will enhance the visitor experience in Niagara Falls…encourage longer stays, cultivate repeat visitors and improve the city’s image in the global tourism market.”

The Hamister Group, Inc., founded in 1977 and based in Buffalo, is a recognized leader in hotel and healthcare facility development and management.

Dismantling the Scaffold Law

The Daily Gazette recently endorsed New York dismantling the Scaffold Law that creates absolute liability on a job site.

Citing the fact that New York is the only state in the nation with a such law, the editorial calls for apportioning negligence among all parties in cases where the injured worker’s conduct contributed to the accident.

Noting that some legislators have profited from the law being in place, it also says these legislators have resisted ethics inquiries from the Moreland Commission.

The costly mandate is a burden to businesses, municipalities, school systems and ultimately taxpayers.  One local business responded to the editorial, illustrating that although the law creates a burden for all business owners, smaller, minority or women owned businesses feel the pinch more.  Although larger companies also struggle, they have more resources to cope with high insurance costs.

Read the full editorial on The Daily Gazette website.

Read the letter to the editor in response.