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Accelerate Upstate 2.0 talks about Upstate NY economy

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Buffalo: Accelerate Upstate 2.0 talks about Upstate NY economy
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Business leaders and professionals gathered in Buffalo Tuesday to learn more about how to grow the Upstate New York economy. YNN's Jon Dougherty has more on Accelerate Upstate 2.0 and how the goal is to make our area stronger.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A room full of business men and women packed the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center Tuesday. They talked about how the Upstate New York economy is doing and how it can get better

Two years after the first Accelerate Upstate summit, the 2.0 version was a time to look back to the past and forward to future growth.

"We need still need to work on making businesses more comfortable with making investments here," said Buffalo Niagara Partnership President & CEO Andrew Rudnick.

The day-long summit focused on a number of topics. There was a panel discussion was on how Governor Cuomo's Regional Councils are working, and pollster John Zogby was the feature speaker.

Lt. Governor Robert Duffy also spoke at the summit. He said keeping and attracting businesses to Upstate New York starts with lower taxes.

"It's about taxes, trying to hold the tax structure flat," Lt. Gov. Duffy said. "He (Governor Cuomo) has presented three budgets, two already on time with no new taxes. The property tax cap at two percent is a huge step at trying to stabilize that situation."

John Batiste, CEO of Klein Steel Service Inc. said, "Somehow we have to come to grips of reducing taxes, fees, assessments, and mandates. All that has to happen."

Lt. Governor Duffy said since the last Accelerate Upstate summit in 2011, the Upstate New York economy has made strides.

"By no means am I saying that the state has overcome all the challenges that it has. We have a long ways to go. It's like running a marathon," said Lt. Gov. Duffy.

But some said that marathon is just getting started.

Unshackle Upstate Executive Director Brian Sampson said, "It's a marathon that has hurdles in it. Every once in a while we come to a hurdle and we have to get over that hurdle and fix the hurdle so we don't have to visit it again in the future."

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