Press Pass: Job numbers don't tell entire development story

Aug 16, 2016

During a recent visit to Buffalo, Governor Cuomo sparred with reporters over his economic development programs and their lackluster performance in creating jobs. On WBFO's Press Pass, Jim Fink of Business First suggested that lofty job goals were not going to happen overnight.

"Let's be realistic. For many years, New York has been saddled with the reputation of being business unfriendly," said Fink.

Fink says he believes the economic development programs from the Cuomo administration are an effort to change an "image that's been perpetuated over decades."

High taxes and costs related to doing business in New York have long been the target of critics.

"The best marketing, the best thing that New York State can have. is CEO-to-CEO conversation."

Some of those CEOs who have been singing New York's praises recently are Geico's Tony Nicely and Elon Musk of Tesla Motors and SolarCity. Last week, Nicely announced that Geico would add 600 jobs to its Amherst location. Musk, despite some recent Wall Street turbulence, has remained publicly bullish regarding the solar industry in New York.

"Economic development, when you're talking about it, is a long-term proposition," Fink said. "You can't flip a switch and automatically there's 600 or 800 new jobs with this company or that company."

At the end of the debate, has there been improvement in the state's economic climate?

"New York State of 2016 is light years ahead of where it was, even, 10-15 years ago, in terms of business and business development. "