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The tax-free zones around college campuses to spur economic development and create jobs upstate has been approved by lawmakers.

Lynn Freeman -- president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce -- says that although it hasn’t seen the fine details of the legislation, it welcomes any environment that will facilitate the establishment of new long-term businesses and job creation.

Freeman says this could help deter companies from leaving the county to other states.

“This is simply an enticement to those industries to keep it local and of course generate the jobs that then come with the development of the product," he said.

The plan would eliminate taxes – including income tax – for 10 years for businesses that start up, relocate to or expand at SUNY campuses like GCC.

Freeman envisions the existing Medtech Center across the street from GCC as playing a major role. He says in order for the legislation to be effective it’s important that  “…these programs are executed in a manner that does not detract from other local industries and be in direct competition.”

In feedback from some local small businesses, Freeman says some owners weren’t worried their employees would leave for a start-up, but rather how it would tighten up the market for existing talent.

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