York College is Finding Ways to Lure Businesses to its Jamaica Campus

Crain’s New York: College seeks to enroll businesses
York College is finding ways to lure businesses to its Jamaica campus.

FEBRUARY 24, 2014

York College wants businesses to set up shop on its Jamaica campus, and thinks it has figured out a way to do it. The CUNY school has applied to enroll in Start-Up New York, a state-sponsored program that offers tax breaks to new companies, technology firms and out-of-state businesses that partner with colleges in poorer communities. Participating firms are exempt from paying state and local taxes for a decade, and their employees are exempt from income taxes for at least five years.

York sees the program and the neighbors it could draw as an opportunity to actively engage its faculty and students in the community while helping to bolster the local economy. “The faculty can offer their expertise to budding businesses, while students can apply for internships right on campus,” said Ronald Thomas, vice president of administration and finance and overseer of the application.

Mr. Thomas said the college has a 5-acre parcel of land available to house the new businesses if its application is approved. A decision is expected by the spring.
“Downtown Jamaica is going through a revitalization, with new hotels, development and rezoning,” noted Mr. Thomas. “We think our piece will add to those efforts.”

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