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Letter: Start-Up NY must listen to businesses

An unlikely coalition from New York's political right

An unlikely coalition from New York's political right and left has called for the suspension of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's Start-Up NY economic development program after reports of modest initial success and significant marketing costs. Credit: AP

According to a recent Newsday article, “Start-Up NY ‘anemic’ ” [News, July 6], the leader of the Start-Up NY program has asserted that the program is “on track and needs time to bear fruit.”

As the founder of a Long Island-based startup that has been operating for 2 1⁄2 years, I question the basic premise of the program. I would argue that, while the program might be on track, it’s on the wrong track, because it provides no real help to most startups.

Rather than tax breaks, typical startups need timely and efficient assistance in actually starting up and becoming financially sustainable. They need a wide range of guidance, advice and hands-on assistance in choosing the right industry, product or service, and the right business model to succeed.

Organizations seeking to assist entrepreneurs often don’t place the entrepreneurs’ needs first, so funds devoted to programs for entrepreneurs are essentially diluted and don’t have as much impact. Listening to entrepreneurs, focusing on their needs, and providing more direct help would yield more tangible results than offering tax incentives that few startups are in a position to take advantage of.

Judy Wieber, East Islip