Last Tuesday, Empire State Development (ESD) and the state Department of Taxation and Finance announced that Mwisa Chisunka will serve as the state’s first New York State Business Ombudswoman and Director of Business Tax Services and Education.

Her role will be to work with the business community and identify opportunities to streamline and enhance effective tax administration, providing input to Regional Economic Development Councils, appropriate State agencies, and the Commission on Tax Reform and Fairness.

As a person who has spent a good deal of time attending college and graduate school Upstate (Colgate and UAlbany, respectively), we hope that Ms. Chisunka understands the significant challenges Upstate communities and businesses are facing today.

There is clearly a great deal of improvement possible within the state in terms of how it deals with the businesses it regulates and collects taxes from.  We hope she is wildly successful in making it easier for businesses to thrive and grow here in New York.