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Queens Chronicle

Economic plan to help Queens readied

State senator offers six-point program

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Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:42 am, Thu Aug 28, 2014.

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) announced Tuesday a six-point economic plan for Queens to increase employment and attract businesses to the borough.

The senator wants to reform the state Brownfield program for polluted areas. Under his plan, Empire State Development would purchase contaminated sites and finance construction. They would be sold for $1 with the stipulations that businesses provide a living wage and other requirements.

Avella, who is facing a primary challenge from former official John Liu, wants the state to provide new businesses greater access to financing with revolving loans and counseling.

He is also calling for greater funding for roads, bridges and highways using the state’s $3 billion settlement with BNP Paribas, a French banking firm that did business with Cuba, Iran and Sudan, which are on the United States’ sanctions list. The firm admitted guilt, with New York State getting the majority of the fine.

He wants to make transportation more affordable with a toll relief for the Throgs Neck, Whitestone and RFK bridges.

Avella plans to introduce legislation to provide tax credits to small businesses for long-term unemployed persons they hire.

Lastly, Avella announced he will organize a small business advisory council in his district made up of key business owners to come up with new ideas that can be molded into proposed legislation.

“We need a forward-looking approach when it comes to investing in the future of our economy and making sure Queens remains ‘open for business,’” Avella said.

“The old way of doing business is not going to create the jobs of the 21st century. Only through innovative ideas and building public-private partnerships will we be able to forge a new path that will create new jobs and grow our economy.”

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