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October 1, 1998 

New York can get even friendlier to business - if we keep in mind that the road to success is always under construction

By Lewis Golub

I'm excited about The Business Council's prospects for the next 12 months.

We really are poised to do even more to improve New York's hospitality to business. But in the year ahead, we'll face new challenges. Our potential for progress is at least matched by the danger of setbacks.

The source of our potential progress next year lies in our achievements in recent years.

The Business Council and The Public Policy Institute really have been major players in New York's emerging economic comeback.

We said it was possible. We showed how it could be done. We convinced lawmakers to do the right things to make it happen.

And we were right!

Our tax burden is shrinking. Our economy is recovering. Lawmakers, regulators, and government bureaucrats at all levels are finally acknowledging the harm done by New York's longstanding tradition of hostility or indifference to business.

But with this progress comes new challenges.

Old adversaries will come back with renewed vigor. Trial lawyers will press harder for new lawsuits. Forces that favor more spending, more programs, more regulations, more mandates will raise new arguments-for more spending, programs, regulations, and mandates.

But we are accustomed to policy skirmishes with the loyal opposition. Our greater fear now is that we will mistake initial progress for ultimate success. But the road to success is always under construction.

To put it another way: We must not declare victory and pull out. We're not done yet!

I ask all Business Council members to sustain your commitment to playing a role in New York State's comeback.

With your help, we can do even more to make New York the Empire State again.

Editor's note: Lewis Golub is chairman and chief executive officer of the Golub Corporation. He was elected chairman of The Business Council Sept. 16. This column is excerpted from remarks he made Sept. 17 to members at The Business Council's Annual Meeting.