" I think the ads are well done...many other states do the same thing, but if it is going to be the basis for new investment in New York state generally or the Buffalo Niagara region in particular, much more fundamental issues are going to be more important to business decision makers."
- Andrew Rudnick , Buffalo Niagara Partnership
From The NY Times:
" Critics of the “Open for Business” campaign, which the Legislature approved, have proliferated as the commercials receive heavy airtime on networks like CNN, CNBC and NBC. Some have questioned whether the campaign is a wise use of money, while others have questioned whether New York, with its high tax burden, is truly business-friendly.
WBEN VIDEO: SEE THE AD BELOW
It is part of a nearly $140 million advertising buy over two years, according to The New York Times. (Read more below right. )
The ads have been spotted by flight attendants in Phoenix and Chicago, and ex-Buffalonians with a soft spot for our city say they've seen them in New York, Texas and D.C. too.
But as much as it brings pride to the Buffalo ex-pat community at-large, it inspires skepticism among those who lobby more often to bring business to the city or state.
"I think it is putting the cart before the horse," says Mike Durant, New York State director of The National Federation of Independent Business.
"New York has three ways to fix, and you have to fix all three, the business climate. It's regulatory fixes, there's statutory fixes and then there's public perception."
The ads tout the state's cut in business taxes, saying " cutting taxes on business is our business," and feature a range of testimonials.
But Durant says New York state still ranks " 49th in economic outlook, we have the highest state and local tax burden, regardless of the ad campaign," Durant says.
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But he doubts that the business community- literally the movers who could bring more jobs to town- will be swayed by the campaign.
"I don't think that business decision makers decide what to do when they see an ad. They are far more numbers based. This is not a time when people are cavalier about investments, and whether it be the tax and business climate, or workforce issues and plan and permitting issues, much more bottom line nuts-and-bolts things are the basis for new investments being made," Rudnick says.
TV or print versions have been seen as far away as Washington DC (In the Washington Post, no less) and on TV in San Antonio Texas, according to our weekly political contributor Dave Levinthal, at the Center for Public Integrity. (HEAR more with him below.)
"It is something that definitely has been catching some eyes, and some of my friends from Buffalo here in Washington have seen it," says Levinthal, who was born here, and adds that pride wells up when the ads come on . "it's catching some eyeballs and it's catching some attention," he says .
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talk of the ads, after a discussion of Syria and the surprise weekend visit by Sen. John Mc Cain
HERE's THE AD
From The NYS Dept. Of Economic Development, Via YouTube