The cities that succeed in the years ahead will be anchored on communities that collaborate to create high-growth startup economies.

On the heels of worldwide news that Amazon will soon open a second headquarters, two Upstate NY metro areas are sharing in the spotlight. Rochester and Buffalo, NY have submitted a joint proposal to attract the retail giant our way.

According to published reports, Amazon is expected to expand operations and employ up to 50,000 people at its new headquarters – chosen based on location, tax breaks, talent and other incentives.

Even if Western New York is not selected as the winner for Amazon HQ2, Upstate Jobs Party founder Martin Babinec believes the exercise of submitting a collaborative proposal has its benefits. Proposals have also been submitted by representatives of Central NY and the Capital Region.  

“I’m not in favor of using taxpayer dollars to be given to private companies, Amazon included,” said Babinec in a recent interview with Liz Benjamin on Capital Tonight. “But the efforts that Rochester and Buffalo are going through in putting together a proposal to attract Amazon is actually a worthwhile effort in the essence that it’s creating a lot more awareness about the assets that we have here as a region. Leveraging those assets makes sense.”

The Upstate Jobs Party supports cross development between economic agencies, institutions and local businesses to promote and create a startup environment that attracts a company like Amazon to our region. We believe the application process itself creates awareness nationally, and this effort of working together is one that aligns with UJP’s core values.

People create jobs, not government

It’s our belief that people, not government, create the private sector jobs we must have to restore economic vitality to our region. Putting taxpayer dollars into private companies, however, is something Babinec, and the Upstate Jobs Party, do not support.

UJP is committed to putting an end to corporate giveaways, tax loopholes, and “pay to play” politics. It’s time to remove government from the equation, as we know that entrepreneurs and private companies will choose what makes sense for them based on assets they need. This includes the availability of critical workforce talent, suppliers, local infrastructure and how well a community works together in supporting the growth of new businesses. Upstate NY has all of these assets.

In the quest for attracting Amazon HQ2, Rochester and Buffalo will have the opportunity to showcase the region’s connected startup ecosystem – an ecosystem that is beginning to show signs of increasing traction throughout Upstate NY.

“While most startup ecosystems are limited to one city, Upstate’s high growth companies are part of a large network cutting across numerous geographic and institutional  boundaries,” said Nasir Ali, CEO of nonprofit Upstate Venture Connect.

He added, “Amazon and other innovation based companies recognize the value of a talented workforce. Locations with many options to attract and retain top talent will likely score well.”

“Our issues focus on enabling individuals to create well paying, innovation industry jobs as the surest path to building a foundation of renewal for Upstate NY’s families, as well as a sustainable, stronger America – an America rededicated to fulfilling its promise of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness for each and every individual,” said Babinec.

[Job Multiple Effect: For every one high-tech job created, five more are created in the service industry]

Let’s build companies like Amazon in Upstate NY

Towards achieving those ends, the Upstate Jobs Party is committed to supporting candidates with the talent and skills to bring together the right people to have the right conversations about jobs. This will help drive collaborative development among government, institutions and business.

UJP is also committed to highlighting the advantages of our region’s common assets, such as being home to some of the top research institutions, a highly educated workforce, unmatched environmental beauty, a high quality of life, and the low cost of living in Upstate NY compared to that of larger metro areas like NYC, Boston or Silicon Valley.

According to Babinec, the 2016 Venture CEO Report released last year captured the impact of Upstate NY’s fast-growing companies. Out of the 115 companies surveyed, 7,700 jobs have been created with a payroll exceeding $460 Million. The report also showed that in five years, these companies plan to add another 9,600 direct jobs. “If we want to create MORE JOBS in Upstate NY, we must engage our next generation entrepreneurs to create companies like Amazon right here, and drive awareness to our region’s successes,” he added.

It’s time for change. #VoteUpstateJobs

[Upstate Jobs Party: Issues for a Smart Future]


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