Law authored by Stirpe, Valesky reduces fees imposed on small-scale food businesses

Al Stirpe

David J. Valesky

Assemblyman Al Stirpe (D-Cicero) and Senator David Valesky (D-Oneida) announced that a bill they authored to create two-tiered fee structure for licensing food producers has been signed into law (Ch. 400 of 2017).

Until now, the license for opening a food production facility has cost the same regardless of the size of the business. This legislation makes it more affordable for small-scale food producers to start and grow their businesses.

“We’re seeing a renaissance in small-scale food production in New York state with many food entrepreneurs launching new businesses,” said Stirpe. “Yet, we’ve also heard from many hoping to start new business ventures that the state licensing fees can discourage them from getting off the ground. This law will change that and will, hopefully, lead to the launch of even more small-scale food processing businesses.”

“Across the district I represent, farmers and food entrepreneurs are taking the risks associated with starting new businesses and creating jobs in our communities,” said Valesky. “This bill will encourage that innovative spirit by cutting the start-up costs associated with these small-scale food processing ventures.”

With this new law, qualified small-scale food producers will pay a fee of $175 per processing facility, instead of the typical $400 fee. Qualified food producers are those that are not exempt from licensing, are not a chain store and employ no more than 10 full-time workers. The law seeks to address the first step in the process of developing a product, a process that presents many challenges for small businesses, noted the law’s authors.

“By making this fee more affordable, we encourage business growth, which in turn creates jobs,” said Stirpe. “Plus, we as a community reap the benefits of fresh, locally made products. This is step forward for the Central New York economy and for the local farm-to-table movement.”

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