New York governor Andrew Cuomo is launching a $140 million ad campaign to lure businesses to the Empire State. The campaign, “New York State Open for Business,” is being funded with money drawn from federal disaster aid received in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and from the Power Authority and Energy Research and Development Authority, according to the New York Times.
Most of the money is being spent on television ads, many of which are being broadcast outside of New York and are intended to draw businesses into the state. One features a voiceover by Robert DeNiro set to Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” DeNiro concedes the troubles that have plagued the state’s economy but argues that it’s on the rebound. “Some said we lost our edge,” he tells viewers. ”Well today, there’s a new New York State, one that’s working to attract businesses and create jobs.”
“We are doing everything we can to level the playing field to bring businesses and jobs to the state of New York, and will continue to double down on those efforts as long as this governor is in office,” Melissa DeRosa, a spokeswoman for Governor Cuomo, told the Times.
Many have been critical of the effort, including former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, who over the weekend called the ads “fluff” and “a waste of taxpayer money.”
Several other states have undertaken similar efforts. Most notably, Texas governor Rick Perry has visited California and Illinois in an attempt to personally recruit businesses to his state and has vocally encouraged gun manufacturers to relocate to Texas. The Times notes that the state of New Jersey will also use some of its federal aid on a campaign to market the Jersey Shore and other hard-hit areas.