Governor Andrew Cuomo visited Rochester Tuesday afternoon to unveil two new initiatives.
In what had the feel of a campaign event, the governor announced tax cuts for very small businesses and a $100 million dollar fund for struggling downtowns. The event was held at Tower280, the former Midtown Tower, which is welcoming its first residents next week.
Cuomo spent a considerable amount of time discussing how Upstate New York used to be ignored by Albany politicians.
"Rochester can't help Rochester. It takes the state government to help Rochester. The state ignored Rochester," said Cuomo. The governor said he and former lieutenant governor Robert Duffy focused on Rochester and infused the area with investments and optimism.
News 8 pointed out to Cuomo the area has more than 40,000 fewer people employed than it did in the late 1990s and more than 40,000 fewer people in the workforce.
"So you're a cynic. And by the way, we're going to die some day. So let's be depressed, right? And we're getting older, so let's be depressed. And it's cold, so let's be depressed," Cuomo said. " You can look at the glass and it can be half-full or half-empty. For many years, there was nothing that would give hope, if you looked around Upstate New York."
Cuomo pointed to the Sibley Building, Midtown, photonics institute and $500 million state grant for economic revitalization in Rochester.
"These are tangible, evidentiary facts that say Rochester is on the way back," Cuomo said.
(Here is some additional information. The numbers we referred to in our question to Cuomo are labor force, the number of people who have jobs or are seeking jobs, and employment, the number of people who have jobs. Payroll is a separate statistic reflecting the number of jobs in the area. Rochester has about 9,000 fewer nonfarm jobs than it did at its peak in 2000.)
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