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Citing Group's Affect on New York City, Senator Envisions Group To Invigorate Upstate Economy

US Senator Charles E. Schumer today called upon business leaders to join him in forming an Upstate organization modeled on "Association for a Better New York" (ABNY), focused on the economic revival of the region. Schumer made his call during an address to ABNY this morning in New York City.

"Twenty years ago, ABNY pulled New York City back from the brink of economic catastrophe," said Schumer. "But now we need an ABNY for Upstate, as well. Upstate has such tremendous potential, and we need a group that has the expertise and experience to sell those strengths to businesses throughout the country."

A Better New York was created in the early 1970's to help return New York City to fiscal solvency. A privatepublic partnership, ABNY worked towards attracting and keeping businesses in New York City. ABNY also worked to clean the city and cut crime, luring tourists and students back to New York.

According to the US Department of Labor, New York City, if figured separate from New York State, ranks 20 th nationally in job growth last year. Upstate New York would have ranked 49 th. Since 1995, Upstate has ranked 47 th or worse in job growth each year.

Schumer also cited statistics showing that despite modest job growth this year, since 1990 Buffalo has lost 2,000 jobs; Binghamton, 5,500; Utica/Rome, 350; the Capital region, 7,000; and Syracuse, 5,200.

"Upstate has lagged in job growth because of high labor costs, high taxes, high airfares, and high electricity rates," said Schumer. "But today labor costs are competitive with the rest of the region and taxes are shrinking. I am working tirelessly to bring lowcost air service to Upstate, and I am optimistic that a comprehensive, costcutting energy bill will pass this Congress."

Concluded Schumer, "With these changes, I am bullish on Upstate. But more needs to be done to ensure that all of New York feels the effects of the strong national economy. Upstate needs a booster who will do exactly that and ABNY has the experience to be that push."

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