City of Binghamton, New York

Resources for Start-Ups and Established Businesses

Pre-Development Meetings

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

Putting together a written business plan is an important and necessary first step for entrepreneurs, so potential bankers, landlords and suppliers can decide whether lending or providing services/supplies on credit is a wise decision. Three local resources that can assist you with creating a business plan are:

The Small Business Development Center is located on the 2nd floor of the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator at 120 Hawley 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. For more information, please contact Rochelle Layman, (607) 777-4027.  

The Entrepreneurial Assistance Program is funded by Empire State Development through the Binghamton Local Development Corporation and is sponsored by the City of Binghamton/Binghamton Local Development Corporation, SUNY Broome Community College, the Broome County Urban League and the Broome-Tioga Workforce Development Board. The program offers 60 hours of evening classroom instruction and individual counseling with the goal of creating your written business plan and participating in a business plan competition. Students benefit from interactive class participation and outside speakers from successful small businesses to bankers and municipal resources. For more information, please call (607) 777-4022.

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, or leave a message at (607) 217-4628.

US Small Business Administration: 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 a number of resources, see 10 steps to start your business. SBA offers a series of online video courses on business plans; for more information, please click here.  

Siting Assistance

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

The Binghamtn Economic Development Office maintains a strong working relationship with area financial institutions, 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 Binghamton Local Development Corporation - BLDC offers low-interest microenterprise, facade and revolving fund loans to support property acquisition, start-up and growth of qualified companies, call (607) 772-7161.  

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.

Pursuit, (formerly known as the New York Business Development Corporation) is a 60 year-old Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that has provided thousands of small businesses, including start-ups, mature businesses, and minority and women-owned businesses, with access to loans when they do not meet the requirements for traditional financing. As a CDFI, Pursuit works to serve low-income and underserved people and communities.They provide term loans and non-traditional financing, e.g., multiple participations, SBA Microloans (< $50K), SBA 7(a) guaranteed loans with flexible amortization and longer-term payouts. Pursuit 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 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. SBA loans range from Microloans (< $50,000, < 6 years) to 504 Loans (< $5 million, < 20 years) for property or equipment to 7(a) Loans (< $5 million, 10 years) for starting, expanding or acquiring a business. For more information, please contact the SBA Syracuse Regional Office at (315) 471-9393. 

START-UP NY  can assist companies relocating or expanding in New York State with the opportunity to operate tax-free for 10 years. Businesses must partner with a New York State college or university, create new jobs and contribute to the economic development of the local community. For more information about Start-Up NY please contact the program at Binghamton University or SUNY Broome Community College

Licensing/Necessary Filings

  • 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/Professionsfor information about licensed professions in New York State, please click here
  • Unemployment Insurance 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) online 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 clicking here or calling (518) 485-6027. 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. A monthly food safety training class is given at the Broome County Health Department located at 225 Front Street in Binghamton, NY on the second Monday of every month, except holidays, starting promptly at 1:00 PM. There is no fee and no registration required for the class. For more information, please call (607) 778-2802 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.

Finding Qualified Employees

The Broome-Tioga Workforce Development System is available to help your business find qualified workers. You can use the Career Center to recruit, screen and interview candidates for openings, post job openings at no charge, and prescreen applicants for qualifications that meet your job postings. For more information, please call Rebecca Harris at (607) 778-2230, or visit the Career Center located at the Oakdale Mall, 501 Reynolds Road - Suite 56, Johnson City, NY 13790.

The New York State Department of Labor Business Services staff can assist with services such as the New York State Job Bank, career fairs, hiring incentives, On-the-Job Training (OJT), and apprenticeship programs. For more information please contact David Croston, NYSDOL Business Services Representative, 2001 Perimeter Road, Suite 3 Endicott, NY 13760, (607) 741-4518, david.croston@labor.ny.gov, or 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 New York 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

The Economic Development Office 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. 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." For more information, please visit, https://www.facebook.com/GorgeousWashington/ or contact Jesse Wheeler, JWheeler@DavidsonFox.com, (607) 722-5386.
  • EatBing organizes the biannual Binghamton Restaurant Week, Martini Walk, and the Wine & Tapas Tour. EatBing is an association of downtown Binghamton restaurant owners who work to promote the diverse, innovative food and beverage culture in Binghamton, NY. For more information, please contact Piero Lisio, Little Venice Restaurant, (607) 724-2513, piero@littlevenicerestaurant.com.  
 

Other Resources: 

76West is a $2.5 million annual competition organized by NYSERDA focused on growing entrepreneurs and attracting clean energy businesses and jobs in the Southern Tier with the goal of meeting New York State’s aggressive climate and decarbonization goals. Entrant businesses may provide hardware technologies, software technologies, services, or processes that broadly reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and/or enable the transition to a sustainable and clean energy economy by increasing the supply of renewable energy and distributed energy resources, improving the efficiency of energy utilization at the consumer and industrial scale, improving the processes and systems that use energy, or more effectively enable energy solutions to permeate the marketplace. Business entrants must be: <7 years old, have a first product or service in testing or pilot production; pre-revenue or early revenue; and have a leadership team and investors working toward commercialization and profitability. For more information, please click here
 
New York Ventures Direct Fund is a $100 million venture capital fund that invests in seed and early-stage businesses throughout New York State. The Fund provides critical funding to support innovative, emerging startup businesses to stimulate job creation and drive economic growth. The fund focuses on Series A investments and select seed rounds, endeavors to provide capital for first-time CEOs and/or founders and specifically consider geographic regions and MWBEs. Strategic industry sectors include information technology, life sciences, clean energy, and advanced manufacturing. For more information please click here
 
Upstate Venture Connect is a non-profit organization with a mission of catalyzing the creation of thousands of high-tech, high-growth, private capital backed companies in Upstate New York to create business opportunities by linking Upstate NY venture entrepreneurs with resources. It is working to develop and deploy infrastructure which increases the number of creative collisions; increasing seed stage funding provided by individual angel investors; and engaging experienced, successful entrepreneurs to lead startup community activity. For more information please click here
 
Upstate Capital is a 501c6 professional non-profit membership association that identifies itself as a place to meet capital providers - early stage, venture, growth and private equity investors - as well as lenders, professional advisors, entrepreneurs and company executives - who are making investments in companies across New York State. For more information please click here.
 
America’s Seed Fund, SBIR/STTR is supported by the National Science Foundation and aims to help startups and small businesses transform ideas into marketable products and services; it awards $200 million in funding to entrepreneurs across the nation with Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Routes for obtaining funding are typically to identify federal agencies interested in funding a topic area or to apply for a specific federal solicitation. For more information, please click here.