ALBANY, N.Y. /New York Netwire/ — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday announced that he has launched “New York Open for Business,” a coordinated communications and marketing effort that will demonstrate to business leaders all across the world the benefits of doing business in New York State. This campaign is a component in the Governor’s efforts to redesign the way state government works in order to drive economic growth and create jobs. New York needs to communicate that it is the place where businesses want to come and stay.

“The ‘New York Open for Business’ campaign will get the message out to companies throughout the world that New York is a premier place for businesses to invest and grow,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we continue to transform Albany’s approach to economic development, we must emphasize the many advantages New York has to offer, including our central location, our wealth of resources, our unequalled network of colleges and universities, and our diverse, innovative, educated and hard-working residents. With this campaign, we will help build a stronger economy and foster greater private investment throughout New York State.”

In recent years, businesses have left the state in record numbers and job losses have devastated local communities, giving New York the image of having one of the worst business climates in the nation. The goal of the “New York Open for Business” initiative is to promote the many assets of investing in New York so the state can regain its reputation as a business-friendly location. Some recent efforts include balancing the state budget with no new taxes, a local property tax cap, important ethics reforms, and the introduction of Regional Economic Development Councils that will focus State economic development efforts on the local level where they can have the most impact.

The campaign will be led by a committee of prominent business leaders from all across the state who have a wide range of business and strategic communications expertise. Heading the committee will be:
•Russell M. Artzt, Vice Chairman and Founder of CA Technologies
•Kathy Bloomgarden, Ph.D., CEO of Ruder Finn Inc.
•Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO of American Express
•Donny Deutsch, Chairman of Deutsch Inc.
•Shelly Lazarus, Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather
•Eric Mower, Chairman and CEO, Eric Mower and Associates.
•Julie A. Shimer, Ph.D., President and CEO, Welch Allyn Inc.
•G. Thomas Tranter, Jr., President of Corning Enterprises
•Robert G. Wilmers, Chairman and CEO of M&T Bank Corporation

The committee will advise on the development and implementation of strategies to promote New York State as a great place to live and work. Committee members will serve as ambassadors to attract investment to the state and will assist in the recruitment of business leaders to help with the campaign.

As a central component of this effort, the state will recruit a major communications firm to create a bold new campaign, across all media, to promote the advantages of doing business in New York. The Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) will have responsibility for recruiting the firm through an RFP process. The effort will span several years. The initial campaign is expected to cost at least $10 million and as high as $50 million if deemed necessary. The budget pools resources appropriated in the 2011-2012 state budget in ESDC and other agency advertising resources, as well as other existing economic development funds.

Statements of support

President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City Kathy Wylde said, “When it comes to promoting New York as a business location, for too long our state has favored the stealth approach. This program will get the word out about our state’s diverse and highly productive talent pool, world class research institutions and thriving entrepreneurial culture – all factors that are bound to attract business investment and new jobs. This is a small investment that will yield huge returns.”

Acting-President & CEO of the Business Council of New York State, Inc. Heather Briccetti said, “By focusing on economic development at both the statewide and regional levels, Governor Cuomo’s plans give business and civic leaders direct input into how economic incentives will be utilized and the state’s economic resources are allocated. His plan sends a strong message that New York is prepared not only to control the cost of government but to invest in the state’s economic future. Getting business excited about investing and expanding in New York is vital, if we are going to succeed.”

President & CEO of the Long Island Association Kevin Law said, “The Long Island Association actively supported the State’s economic agenda this year, and the passage of an on-time, no new tax budget was a breakthrough in the effort to strengthen the State’s economic climate. ‘New York Open for Business’ has a vital message. Economic developers and business leaders in every part of our state should collaborate with the ‘New York Open for Business’ campaign and Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils, and reinvigorate their own efforts to assure that businesses everywhere understand the new program and how it will help them grow in New York.”

President and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise Mark S. Peterson said, “Economic development is a global dogfight. Attracting new businesses, capital investment and jobs to New York State requires incredibly aggressive and creative tactics. Governor Cuomo’s ‘Open for Business’ marketing campaign will create even more opportunities for the Rochester region to showcase its exceptional workforce, innovations and rich agricultural resources to attract new business.”

President of CenterState CEO Robert M. Simpson said, “Businesses want and deserve simplicity and predictability from state government. Governor Cuomo has responded by empowering regions to promote their own unique assets, creating a streamlined approach and delivering a simplified application process for state assistance. As Governor Cuomo puts our house back in order, we can finally tell the world, with credibility, that New York is ‘open for business’ again. We look forward to taking this message to existing firms in our region and to businesses around the world.”

Managing Partner at Larkin Development Group Howard A. Zemsky said, “The ‘New York Open for Business’ campaign is another testament to Governor Cuomo’s commitment to rebuilding the state’s economy and creating jobs. New York has always been the hub for global business and this campaign will put the spotlight back on our state once more. By promoting the new business climate of New York through a comprehensive and strategic campaign, there is no doubt that future employers and investors will soon be coming to our door.”

President of the Westchester County Association Bill Mooney said, “All across New York State, corporate leaders, economic developers and organizations like the Westchester County Association work to promote the strengths of their regions to attract new investment. Yet we look to New York State to help fund the rebuilding of our region’s infrastructure. Besides getting government working again, Governor Cuomo’s approach to economic development recognizes all of our efforts, acknowledges the attributes of the State’s various regions, and builds on our progress. To that end, the ‘New York Open for Business’ campaign will help us and all other regions in the state to promote our strengths. We commend the Governor on his forward thinking.”

President and CEO of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress Jonathan Drapkin said, “We support the Governor’s broad-based approach to restructuring state government to support economic development efforts that show we are truly ‘open for business.’ The Governor’s efforts to both streamline and restructure these resources are a welcome strategy for fixing the state’s economy, which is key to improving consumer confidence and to the overall quality of life for New Yorkers.”

President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce Garry Douglas said, “From reducing and capping spending to the nation’s strongest property tax cap, New York State is on course to welcoming investment and jobs instead of sending them elsewhere. Indeed, New York is a different state than it was seven months ago. But we also have to go out and tell our story to investors and business leaders across the country and around the world. Governor Cuomo’s ‘New York Open for Business’ marketing campaign will reach out to them and get us that fresh look at all we have to offer, including a new commitment to economic growth.”