April 06, 2011

A Plan To Stoke The Entrepreneurial Spirit

By: by Eric Anderson, Business editor, Times Union


U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Tuesday outlined an "entrepreneurship agenda" that would support business incubators with federal grants, provide a way for entrepreneurs to invest in their own businesses with tax-free savings, offer tax credits to investors in small business, expand existing science parks such as the one at the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, and create new parks.

Gillibrand also said she is supporting the Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act that would provide funds to help develop so-called cluster-based strategies for economic development.

"My number one focus is creating good-paying, family-supporting jobs," she said. "But I know that government doesn't create jobs -- businesses do.

"We need to support budding entrepreneurs, free up the credit they need to get their ideas off the ground, and invest in the kind of research we can turn into cutting edge businesses and new jobs," Gillibrand said in a news release.

There was no estimate of what the program might cost. But Gillibrand pointed out that job creation has been slow and that 800,000 New Yorkers remain out of work, including 47,000 in the Capital Region.

Gillibrand's initiative was announced on the same day that Albany Nanotech was awarded $57.5 million to establish a solar manufacturing consortium, and several weeks after Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy said it was relaunching its business incubator.

Gillibrand's proposal would provide up to $5 million to support efforts by incubators to provide training, counseling, investment management and other services to early-stage businesses in targeted industries.

Entrepreneurs would be able to save up to $10,000 tax-free to be used in their businesses, under another proposal. And legislation would provide a 25 percent tax credit to private investors who support businesses in such targeted fields as biotechnology, clean energy and advanced manufacturing.

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