upstate economy

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

There is a political debate going on this fall about government's role in supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.

It comes at a time when upstate New York continues to try and reinvent its economy. Small business incubators and accelerator programs are cropping up. The state has also made a major investment in creating a nanotech industry.

"The narrative that government is important? I don’t believe it’s true," says Carl Schramm.

Local food economy overcomes obstacles

Aug 28, 2012
Joanna Richards/WRVO

Recently, local food has been turning up on more grocery store shelves and restaurants in upstate New York. But the local food economy still faces challenges to bringing agricultural products from farm to table.

New pavilion part of downtown Watertown's revitalization

Aug 27, 2012
Joanna Richards/WRVO

The city of Watertown has built a new pavilion as part of its downtown revitalization project. It's meant to house outdoor activities, including the Saturday farmers market. The farmers market held an appreciation ceremony to thank the city on Saturday.

On September 4, the face of downtown Syracuse will change, as the long awaited CENTRO Transfer Center will open.

High speed rail has become a political issue across the country, including in upstate New York. Democratic Congressional hopeful Dan Maffei says the issue draws a distinction between him and his opponent in the race for the 24th Congressional district.
 

Ardyiii / Flickr

Beer is big business in New York state. The industry, which already has a major impact on the state's economy, expects to grow even further.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

A proposal to raise New York State Thruway tolls 45 percent for large trucks brought out dozens of people to a hearing in Syracuse Friday.

Some of those testifying suggested there will be political reprisals if the authority goes ahead with the increases, which would bring rates for large trucks in line with what passenger cars pay.

Retail stores offering more food from local producers

Aug 16, 2012

As fast as veggies are popping up in the garden, local foods are showing up on grocery store shelves throughout northern New York.

A new food co-op recently opened in Clayton, in Jefferson County, that showcases locally-sourced vegetables and other products, but big grocery chains like Hannaford and Wegman's are getting in on the trend, too, adding more of the region's products to store shelves.

While at Fort Drum this week talking about biomass fuel, Governor Andrew Cuomo chimed in on another energy issue – one much more likely to strike nerves in the North Country: the state's new Article X law.

Joanna Richards / WRVO

Governor Andrew Cuomo traveled to Fort Drum Monday, where he toured an idled coal plant being converted to produce power using wood biomass.

Cuomo says he is going to send a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta urging the Defense Department to draw up a contract with the plant to provide energy to Fort Drum.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York’s track record on supporting economic development projects is hit and miss.

fishhawk / Flickr

Greek-style yogurt now accounts for about a quarter of all yogurt sales in the United States.  Much of it is made in upstate New York, where this low-tech industry is having a big economic impact.

Fiber optic company plans expansion in Albany

Aug 3, 2012
Marie Cusick/Innovation Trail

A telecommunications company that builds fiber optic networks throughout the Northeast is expanding its headquarters in Albany, despite offers to relocate out-of-state.

Watertown airport reaches 10,000 passenger milestone

Jul 26, 2012
Joanna Richards/WRVO

Watertown International Airport swapped its 9-seater flights to Albany for 44-seater flights to Chicago back in November. So far, passengers and officials seem to agree it's been a big success.

Sensor startup senses golden opportunity

Jul 19, 2012
Courtesy photo / Sensorcon

Are we on the verge of a “sensor revolution?”

Sensorcon hopes so. The Buffalo-based tech startup envisions a world where the average person is empowered with a small device that reads temperature, carbon monoxide levels, dew point and more.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

New York state is trying to get out of the way of the burgeoning number of craft breweries in the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law Wednesday that uses a mixture of tax credits and incentives to boost the beer business.

Dry weather threatens hay, corn crops

Jul 18, 2012

The hot, dry weather is taking a toll on crops in the region. Scattered heavy rains have brought some relief to some areas, but overall, production of field crops like hay and corn is suffering. In the North Country, it's been decades since the area experienced a summer so dry.

Matt Ryan / WMHT

More tax breaks does not equal more jobs.

That's according to State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's latest report on New York's industrial development agencies (IDAs).

In his fifth report on IDAs [PDF], DiNapoli says the number of jobs created by the local economic development engines dropped by 22,000 from the year before.

DiNapoli also cites a $483 million gap in what IDAs gave out in tax breaks and how much they took in via payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOTs).

That breaks down, the report finds, to a $2,659 cost per job - up 9 percent from the year before.

"Taxpayers are not getting enough bang for their buck when it comes to IDAs," DiNapoli said in a statement.

The U.S. Senate is considering legislation that would attempt to boost the economic recovery by way of tax breaks for businesses. Senator Charles Schumer is a big booster of the bill.

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