The Business Council supports A.2702 (Magee) / S.2146 (Valesky) and the creation of the Dine: Pride of New York program. The Dine: Pride of New York program is similar to Pride of New York in that both programs promote New York State agriculture. This new program is intended to specifically help promote restaurants that use a substantial amount of New York State grown and manufactured ingredients in their menus. Although restaurants are permitted to apply and participate in the original program, the new Dine: Pride of New York program is specifically tailored to restaurants, and the promotional materials and marketing efforts can be used to attract both in-state residents and visiting tourists.
This bill lays out the application criteria and benefits of this program, which includes listing participating restaurants on the program's website and free marketing and promotional materials. The Business Council supports the idea and goal of this bill, but we offer up ideas on how more could be done to promote the participating restaurants. Currently, this bill would have the Dine: Pride of New York webpage housed under the Department of Agriculture and Markets; we believe to get the most out of the program and available state resources the Dine: Pride of New York webpage should also be made available through the Division of Tourism I Love NY site, and the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets should work together with the Division of Tourism on ways to maximize co-branding opportunities with the widely known I Love NY brand. In addition, the Dine: Pride of New York website should also contain links to each participating restaurant's webpage.
Agriculture and tourism are two of the largest industries in New York State and changes in tourists' interests have created a new link to tie these industries together that is mutually beneficial. Eating organic, the local food movement, and agri-tourism have all contributed to helping local restaurants succeed. The Business Council supports the Dine: Pride of New York program for continuing to find creative ways to bolster New York's top industries.