Assemblymember Barrett Continues Her “Where the Jobs Are Tour” to Help Local Businesses Grow

Since the beginning of my new term in January, I have made it a priority to travel the district to meet with Mid-Hudson Valley business owners, managers and employees to hear first hand the issues facing local businesses. Our “Where the Jobs Are Tour” has allowed me to learn more about our region’s diverse for-profit and not-for-profit business communities and to discuss ways New York State and our office can help them succeed. While it seems the local economy is starting to improve, there are still too many folks under or unemployed and the number one goal throughout our region is the creation of good-paying local jobs.

This region is home to some of the most innovative businesses in the world and the range of places I’ve so far had the pleasure of visiting is truly staggering: From IBM and Central Hudson Gas & Electric to Ginsberg’s Foods and Hillrock Distillery; from Etsy and Alicia Adams Alpaca to Columbia Memorial, St. Francis and Vassar Brother Hospitals; from Hawthorne Valley Farm to the Culinary Institute of America; from Marist College, Dutchess and Columbia-Greene Community Colleges to CoARC, Pine Haven and Whittier Adult Care Nursing Home; from Taconic Farms to Ancram Paper Mill which is located on an historic industrial site in continuous operation for more than 250 years.

One of the strong outcomes in this year’s state budget was its commitment to helping businesses grow and provide more jobs in our region, phasing out a burdensome utility surcharge and reducing the tax rate on manufacturing companies. The budget provides $1 million to support a development lending program to help minority- and women-owned businesses, raises community college aid for the second consecutive year and offers a tax credit for businesses that hire veterans.

To support our farms and breweries and to help bolster tourism, the budget created the new Market NY Program. The Market NY Program promotes the state’s food products to increase tourism and access to healthy, locally sourced foods. I am also pushing for the expansion of the Pride of NY program, designed to help farmers access a larger marketplace, as well as buy-local legislation that will make it easier for New York State produce to reach seniors, school children and local institutions.

We need to do all we can to help New York farms succeed and to attract the next generation of farmers. Agriculture is a critical industry for our region and state. I will continue to fight for my bill that provides tax credits to farmers who transport their goods on the NYS Thruway. Tolls on the Thruway, the only route open to farm trucks reaching out to restaurants, businesses and farmers markets in the greater NYC market, are a huge expense for small and mid-sized farms. These tax credits will make a real difference in the bottom line for farmers who move their goods around the state.

As I continue with my “Where the Jobs Are Tour,” I look forward to talking with Mid-Hudson employers and to working with them to make our area more attractive for businesses. For more information on the “Where the Jobs are Tour” or on any other community issue, please contact my office or email me at