2003-01-18 / Letters

State Senator’s Blunder

State Senator's Blunder

Dear Editor;

I just wanted to correct a major oversight noted in the press release submitted by State Senator Malcolm Smith. Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC) is the administrator the New York State's Empire Zone (EZ) located in Rockaway. Since 1994 portions of the Rockaway Peninsula have been designated as an EZ. The EZ was created to stimulate economic growth through a variety of financial incentives designed to attract new businesses and to enable existing businesses to expand and create more jobs. Businesses that make an investment and/or create new jobs in an EZ are eligible for a combination of State tax credits and benefits.

In addition, municipalities which have been designated an EZ may offer additional incentives including a property tax abatement for improvement to real property in the zone. As the administrator of the Empire Zone program in the Rockaways, RDRC is the gatekeeper to eligible certified businesses who wish to access benefits and incentives that can enable them to operate more efficiently.

In Senator Smith's comments, he mentions the Statewide Zone Capital Corporation of New York (SZCC). The SZCC is a privately owned loan fund whose capital is available to promote the expansion and growth of businesses in New York's 72 participating Empire Zones. Through the program financing is available for both existing and new businesses. New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC) manages the operations of the SZCC. SZCC is intended to complement conventional bank financing by partnering with banks to provide credit to businesses, many of which do not meet the requirements for traditional financing.

What was omitted from the Senator's article was that RDRC is a strategic partner or Associate Development Company with NYBDC. Briefly, the NYBDC mission is to promote economic activity within New York state by providing innovative loans to small and medium-size businesses; to assist partner banks in making such loans; and, particularly, to assist minority and women-owned businesses by offering credit opportunities not otherwise available to them. As an Associate Development Company with NYBDC, RDRC identifies and assist in intake and loan referrals to NYBDC.

Moreover, RDRC's Business and Professional Service Division has a host of programs that focus on renewing and discovering the business potential of the Rockaways. From entrepreneurial assistance, real estate assistance and small business start-up and micro loan programs, RDRC offers a myriad of programs and services.

If you are business owner or you just want some information about all of the programs and incentives that are available for businesses, please do not hesitate to call RDRC at (718) 327-5300.

In my next column, I will highlight all of the tax incentives and credits available to businesses through the Empire Zone.


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