BUFFALO, NY- Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy came to Buffalo Thursday to make an announcement about a new business that will bring more than 70 jobs to the Queen City.
Duffy's announcement was at Blue Bridge Financial in the Electric Tower on Washington Street.
In June, Governor Cuomo announced Blue Bridge Financial would move its headquarters to downtown Buffalo retaining 12 jobs and creating over 71 new jobs over a five year period.
This is the latest example of the state spending tax dollars from the Billion to Buffalo program to create jobs in downtown Buffalo. Brittany St. George holds one such job at Blue Bridge Financial, which issues loans to small businesses. St. George is a WNY native, who left the area and moved to Virginia.
"Just for the opportunity to see if i could find a new job, a new experience, I was going to go to school and it ended up not really working out in my favor," she said.
Then, she got a call. St. George heard that the company she now works for was expanding and could use her help.
"It's a huge difference there's the comfort, everything is easier, everything's more accessible it's home," St. George said.
Blue Bridge Financial was making moves. The company agreed with the state to move its headquarters from Williamsville to the Electric Tower. Blue Bridge had previously been looking to move out of state.
"It was cost, as well as, talent and the ability to tap into a highly skilled workforce," said Mark DeBacker, CEO of Blue Bridge Financial.
But, the state stepped in with $586,000 in tax breaks and lured the company to Buffalo. Blue Bridge can get the tax breaks over the next five years, only if it adds jobs.
"Over 80 new young professionals working out of downtown Buffalo, coming here everyday, hopefully buying homes and renting apartments and going to restaurants and I think it helps the whole viability here," Duffy said.
Blue Bridge Financial plans to stay in the Electric Tower for the next six or seven years. According to an agreement the company has with the state, the company must stay in WNY for the next 11 years.