Deciding to take the leap and officially start a business can be life-changing. Part of that choice includes picking the right location for your start-up to grow and thrive. If you haven’t already considered upstate New York — specifically Binghamton — as the ideal place to plant business roots, here’s your sign to jump in and build a start-up here.
Just in case you’re not already aware of the many benefits, here are eight reasons why Binghamton, NY is a great choice to start a business.
1. Home to Top-Ranked Higher Education
Binghamton, NY is home to Binghamton University and SUNY Broome Community College — both entities of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. In particular, Binghamton University is a top-ranked university for value and within public schooling.
For your start-up, having prestigious schools nearby means having access to a well-versed and talented pool of eager potential employees. This is especially true as the university continues its steady increase of both incoming students and awarded degrees. In addition, Binghamton University has four federally designated research centers, focusing on smart energy, developmental exposure to alcohol, flexible hybrid electronics and battery storage — providing you and your start-up ample opportunities to become involved and learn from shared efforts. The university has also expanded in the last few years with the addition of their pharmacy school and has built on their well-established spectrum of life and environmental science degree programs to encourage further research and innovation.
2. Helpful Business Resources
Operated by Binghamton University’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships is the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator. Here, entrepreneurs can join at a level of membership that makes sense for their current objectives. Members of Koffman have access to state-of-the-art facilities, mentorship, programming and more to help properly develop their business.
Within the Incubator, you will also find the Binghamton Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Their office serves as a valuable resource to entrepreneurs as they navigate all of the logistics associated with launching a start-up. This includes business and marketing planning, identifying funding options, and compliance with licensing and other business regulations. Services provided by the SBDC are free of charge.
3. New York State Business Credits and Initiatives
Binghamton and upstate New York are known for a wide variety of things. What isn’t widely known, however, is how beneficial the area is to start-ups and entrepreneurs. New York state provides additional funding in the form of credits and other initiatives to qualified businesses.
For example, the New York State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) makes over $500 million in federal funding available to aid in the resurgence of small businesses across upstate New York — including Binghamton and the Southern Tier. The state also offers the Business Pandemic Recovery Initiative, which includes tax credits and grant funding, to help small businesses come back from the impacts of the pandemic. These are just a few among many other initiatives that can assist your start-up as you settle in Binghamton. Be sure to contact the City of Binghamton Office of Economic Development for more assistance and information as you get started.
4. Participate in Start-Up NY
Establishing your business in New York also makes you eligible for state-exclusive programs, like START-UP NY. This program allows and requires you to establish a presence in New York, including a partnership directly with SUNY schools. Binghamton University, as previously mentioned, is one such school with a premier reputation for excellence — particularly in research.
START-UP NY is also beneficial for startups settling in Binghamton due to the potential for tax breaks for your business. If you are eligible and selected for START-UP NY, your business could pay no state-related taxes for 10 years — saving your start-up funds which could be used on other essentials.
5. Strategic Location
Binghamton, NY is perhaps the most conveniently located city within the state — and maybe even in the Northeast. You’ll find major highways intersecting at the city, allowing easy travel in any direction. Binghamton is also located halfway between New York City and Buffalo, NY, and is a short distance to New York’s other major cities such as Albany, Rochester and Syracuse. This opportune location makes Binghamton a gateway for the start-up ecosystem in upstate New York.
6. Lower Cost of Living
When compared to other cities and the national average, there is a lower cost of living in Binghamton — making it an overall affordable place to live. Especially when using the price of living in and building a business in a larger city like New York City as a measure — which is the move many people try to make — the cost of being in Binghamton cannot be beaten. From real estate to transportation, and even everyday living costs, being in Binghamton will save you money and help keep costs low.
7. Tradition of Excellence
Believe it or not, you’ll likely recognize the names of some of the companies that got their start in and around Binghamton, NY. This list includes:
- Dicks Sporting Goods
- LUMA light projection festival
- Ansco Cameras
- Eureka! Camping
- Security Mutual Life Insurance of New York
- IBM (from nearby Endicott, NY)
- Endicott Johnson Corporation (from nearby Endicott, NY)
Will your start-up add its name to this list?
8. Variety in Recreation
When starting a business in a new location, you as a business owner want to make sure there are plenty of options to occupy your time not spent at work. Binghamton and the surrounding towns of the Southern Tier have you covered with a wide variety of options for any recreational taste.
A short drive in any direction can bring you to a wide selection of restaurants with various cuisine types. Situated on the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers amidst rolling hills, you’ll have no problem finding chances for hiking or kayaking to explore the nature around you. Not to mention, the slopes at surrounding mountain resorts are easily available for skiing and snowboarding in the winter months. In the nicer weather, you can visit one of the many parks or even take a drive to a winery on one of the nearby Finger Lakes. As the Carousel Capital of the world, a free ride on one of the area’s many historic carousels is a must — they can be found at many local parks. There are also opportunities to enjoy visual and performing arts, and minor league sports. Truly, there’s something for everyone!