Summit No. 2

Thomas F. O'Mara

October 24, 2012

So what’s on tap for the end of October in New York State government?

How about today's first-ever “Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit” convened by Governor Andrew Cuomo in Albany.

It marks the latest chapter in New York government taking a more active, collaborative, nuts-and-bolts partnership role in our pursuit to improve the business climate in New York to foster economic growth and create jobs.

Government as the gateway to a better business climate. Imagine that.

But that’s what we’re trying to achieve. Modeled after a successful “Yogurt Summit” in August, where the focus was on the Empire State’s booming Greek-style yogurt industry, I’ve seen this summit on beer, wine and spirits fittingly referred to as a “business-oriented Oktoberfest.”

We’re certainly turning to the expertise and input from New York’s brewers and winemakers to serve up a response to this overriding question: How can New York government help?

The Yogurt Summit focused on how New York government can take every step to encourage and grow the yogurt industry, and do it in ways that will work simultaneously to strengthen our dairy industry and other manufacturers. And the summit on yogurt did produce some immediate results, especially in the arena of regulatory reform. But it also delivered a clear message that we’re not about to let this economic opportunity pass us by, a message whose value cannot and should not be overlooked.

So we’ll convene Summit No. 2, and it’s one that could produce particular benefits throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions.