BUFFALO, N.Y. - Despite less than anticipated numbers form a job-creation program highly touted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and its considerable expense to taxpayers, Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul defended Start Up-NY and predicted it will pay off in the future.
A report released last week showed only 408 jobs were created by the program, while the state spent more than $50 million to advertise it.
“I think it’s all about being patient,” Hochul told WGRZ, after she toured the buffalo Manufacturing Works. “I am urging patience and I say this is a five year strategy. In fact we’re predicting 1,200 jobs in western New York alone through Start-Up NY, because of companies that never would have come here but for Start-Up NY.”
Mrs. Hochul did not elaborate on how long it might take for the predicted 1,200 jobs to materialize.
In his first comments since the report was released, the governor on Wednesday defended the program as necessary to compete with low-tax states.
He also tried to claim the program really didn;t cost the state anything, calling the ads for which millions were spent "generic"...and designed to promote the state's overall business climate.
But the ads, in fact, only focused on a single program: Start-Up NY.
The report from Empire State Development, the Cuomo administration's economic-development branch, was released Friday evening ahead of the holiday weekend, a time notorious for government agencies to release unflattering news.
It was more than 90 days late: By law, the report was due March 31.