Resources for Start-Ups and Established Businesses
Effective March 2, 2009, City Ordinance §410-36 expanded the Planning Commission’s review of commercial and residential properties. Similar to legislation adopted by many other municipalities nationwide, a review is required for almost all new commercial ventures in the City of Binghamton. Failure to comply carries significant penalties. To assist developers with getting projects implemented, the Planning Department in cooperation with the Building Construction Department, Engineering Department, Economic Development and Corporation Counsel, offers Pre-Development Meetings every Tuesday from 2:00 – 4:00 pm (1-hour appointments) on the 4th floor, City Hall in the Planning Conference Room. An informal meeting at the start of a project to discuss scope and direction can give developers a clear understanding of what permits or planning/zoning approvals are required and help avoid delays in obtaining necessary permits or incurring unnecessary design costs. To schedule a meeting, please contact the Department of Planning, Housing & Community Development at (607) 772-7028.
Business Plan Development
A written business plan is an important first step for entrepreneurs so potential bankers and suppliers can decide whether lending or providing services/supplies on credit is a wise decision. Three local resources are:
The Small Business Development Center is located on the 3rd floor of the Artco Building at 218-224 Water Street (607) 777-4024. Funded by the US Small Business Administration with operational support from Binghamton University, they offer FREE and confidential one-on-one counseling to put together your business plan with advice and small classes on starting up, marketing, bookkeeping, human resources, and identifying capital sources.
The Entrepreneurial Assistance Program EAP is funded by Empire State Development through the Binghamton Local Development Corporation and is sponsored by SUNY Broome (Broome Community College), the Broome County Urban League and the Broome-Tioga Workforce Development Board. EAP offers 60 hours of evening classroom instruction and individual counseling with the goal of creating your written business plan. For more information, please call (607) 778-5071.
Greater Binghamton SCORE offers assistance with developing business plans from a network of retired business executive volunteers who provide counseling based on real-world experience. For more information, please call (607) 772-8860
US Small Business Administration videos: face-to-face counseling with experienced local advisors (above) is the best way to put together a business plan, however, the US Small Business Administration offers a series of online video courses on business plans; for more information, please click here.
Binghamton offers a wide variety of retail, office or industrial sites from historical to modern. Our office works with all real estate agents, landlords and property owners to help you find a suitable location to buy or lease with consideration for needs such as budget, zoning, parking, visibility, etc. For more information, please call (607) 772-7161.
The Broome County Geographical Information System provides comprehensive information about any parcel with information such as ownership, aerial maps, tax maps, assessed valuations and proximity to the flood plain.
Low-Interest Loan Programs
BEDO maintains a strong working relationship with all area financial institutions, the The Agency/Broome County Industrial Development Agency, the Small Business Administration, Empire State Development Corporation, and other resource providers. We bring these partners to the table to get the best opportunities for your company in areas of finance, training and competitiveness:
The The Agency/Broome County Industrial Development Agency/LDC offers financing to assist with the purchase, construction or equipment for commercial, manufacturing or warehouse facilities with tax-exempt/taxable industrial revenue bonds, sale/leasebacks and revolving fund loans; call (607) 584-9000.
Empire State Development Corporation is New York’s lead economic development agency. It works to attract major commercial and industrial development that have statewide impacts on investment, job creation and economic prosperity. For information on ESD grants, loans or State incentives, call (607) 721-8605.
New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC) complements conventional banking to provide term loans and non-traditional financing, e.g., multiple participations, SBA guarantees, flexible amortization and long-term payouts. NYBDC is also a facilitator for the SBA 504 Loan Program – a fixed-asset economic development program designed to promote growth and job creation in small businesses.
US Small Business Administration: the SBA does not make direct loans to small businesses. Instead is sets guidelines for loans made by its lending partners, typically banks and credit unions. The SBA guarantees that these loans will be repaid, thereby eliminating some of the risk to the lending partners. When a business applies for an SBA loan, it is applying for a commercial loan, structured according to SBA requirements with an SBA guaranty. SBA-guaranteed loans are not available to borrowers who have access to other financing on reasonable terms.
START-UP NY is for companies relocating or expanding to New York State from in or out-of-state or internationally, to a college or university campus that aligns with your business specialty, and be able to create new jobs for the local community. For more information about Start-Up NY @ Binghamton University, please click here.
- Filing a DBA: to file a DBA (Doing Business As) to operate in Broome County please visit the Broome County Clerk's Office, 44 Hawley Street. The fee is $25.00, call (607) 778-2256 or click here for more information.
- Licensing/Professions: for information about licensed professions in New York State, please click here.
- UI Withholding: for employer's questions related to NYS Unemployment Insurance Withholding, Wage Reporting, and the law, please visit the State Department of Labor website here or call (518) 457-2635.
- IRS Tax ID, Forms of Organization & Reporting: for questions about small business and self employed tax liabilities, you can visit the Internal Revenue Service's Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center by clicking here. Information about obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) can be found here. The local IRS office is found at the Federal Building, 15 Henry Street, Binghamton, (607) 721-0338.
- NYS Sales Tax Reporting, Withholding & Corporation Taxes: you can find answers to questions in these areas by visiting the NYS Department of Taxation & Finance's business page by calling (518) 485-6027 or clicking here. A bulletin describing taxable items is found here.
- NYS online applications for Certificate of Incorporation and Articles of Organization are available through the NYS Department of State’s Online Filing System here.
- NYS Workers' Compensation Insurance: Workers' compensation is required insurance that provides cash benefits and/or medical care for your workers who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their job. You can find out about obtaining workers' compensation insurance coverage by clicking here.
- Broome County Health Department: if you are opening a food service establishment, you will typically need to complete a foodservice application and floor plan and be subject to regular inspection to assure compliance with State and County health laws. For more information, please call (607) 778-3930 or click here.
- NYS Liquor Authority: if you are planning to open a bar, tavern or food service operation selling alcoholic beverages, you will need a license. For more information, please click here.
Federal, State & Local Historic Tax Credits & Incentives
Many older commercial buildings are located in State & National Register Historic Districts. Restoration work may qualify under Federal and State historic tax credit programs. The State Historic Preservation Office manages both programs in conjunction with the National Park Service and the Internal Revenue Service. For information on the NYS program, please click here. The incentives are:
- 20% Federal tax credit for certified rehabilitation of certified historic structures
- 20% NY State tax credit for certified rehabilitation of certified historic structures
- 10% federal tax credit for rehabilitation of non- historic, non-residential buildings built before 1936
Interior/exterior work qualifies as long as it follows City, state and federal preservation guidelines and obtains necessary approvals; for information about City of Binghamton guidelines, please click here. For information about the National Park Service's Technical Preservation Services, please click here. A general list of qualifying expenses can be found here.
Business District Associations
BEDO encourages neighborhood business associations. Three very active organizations are:
- Downtown Binghamton Business Association organizes "July Fest" and supports the Downtown Binghamton Farmers' Market, Columbus Day Parade/Tournament of bands and many other downtown events. DBBA meets every 3rd Friday of the month at Java Joe's, 81 State Street. For more information, please contact Ron Sall, SallStearn@aol.com at (607) 722-7780.
- Gorgeous Washington Street Association organizes the monthly "First Friday" art walk/gallery night. GWSA aims "to beautify and revitalize our community through beautification projects as well as events which highlight our beautiful city." GWSA meets on the 4th Thursday of the month at the Holiday Inn Arena, 2-8 Hawley Street. For more information, please visit, www.gorgeouswashington.com, or contact Jesse Wheeler, JWheeler@DavidsonFox.com, (607) 722-5386.
- EatBing organizes the biannual Binghamton Restaurant Week, Martini Walk, Winter Passport, and the Wine & Tapas Tour. EATbing is an association of downtown Binghamton restaurant owners wanting to promote the diverse, innovative food and beverage culture in Binghamton, NY. For more information, please Piero Lisio, Little Venice Restaurant, (607) 724-2513, firstname.lastname@example.org.