Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined a plan to create a state version of the federal Export-Import Bank to help small businesses expand their export capacity, a $35 million proposal he plans to bring to the state legislature in January.
At the Global NY summit in the Jacob Javits Center on Tuesday, Cuomo touted the proposal as the next phase in the economic revitalization of New York, to which he credits the tax cuts made since he took office.
“We’ve reduced the taxes across the board. Everybody in this room pays lower taxes today than they did four years ago. Middle class—up to $300,000 has the lowest tax rates since 1953,” he said in a press release.
In his speech, Cuomo stressed both the uniqueness of New York and the need for the state to be humble if it’s to remain economically competitive, attributing the state’s recent economic malaise to “hangover arrogance” and its belief that it could “torture businesses because they had no other place to go.”
“That was not technically true. If you look at a map, there are other places in the United States. If you look west of New York, you see all of these other shapes. Those are actually other states and they are habitable,” he said.
The proposal, dubbed the Global NY Development Fund, would allocate $25 million to working with private lenders in the state to extend a $50 million credit line to small businesses, and $10 million in grants to small-and-medium sized firms to develop their export capacity. Cuomo calls the proposal an example of “entrepreneurial government.”
“People say ‘you can’t say that, that’s an oxymoron.’ But it doesn’t have to be an oxymoron because the fundamental role of government should be to develop the economy,” he said.
In a rare respite from campaign hostilities, Cuomo’s Republican gubernatorial rival Rob Astorino had reserved praise for the incumbent governor.
“I haven’t looked at it all, but anything that can strengthen our relationships with various countries we can do trade with is important,” he said on a campaign stop in Queens.
Astorino had been meeting and greeting mostly Spanish-speaking small business owners on 82nd street on Tuesday morning.
“This [street] is just a mix of New York, everything and everyone is here, this neighborhood is just as important as Fifth Avenue,” he said. “There are real, hardworking small business owners here who are getting crushed by high taxes, by the regulations, by rising rents.”
Last week, Astorino proposed sweeping cuts to state’s taxes, including capping the state income-tax rate to 4 percent for those making less than $200,000.