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Cuomo signs legislation allowing benefit corporations

Rochester Business Journal
December 13, 2011

New York will allow businesses to be recognized as benefit corporations, as a result of legislation signed Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Benefit corporations are designed to meet rigorous and independent standards related to social and environmental performance, representatives said.

Current laws make it difficult for businesses to consider employee, community and environmental interests when making decisions, representatives said. The legal structure of benefit corporations allows them to make decisions that are environmentally friendly rather than solely to benefit shareholders.

The legislation was sponsored in the state Assembly by Speaker Sheldon Silver and in the state Senate by Democrat Daniel Squadron.

“By bringing benefit corporations to New York, we are showing that profit and social responsibility are not mutually exclusive,” Silver said in a statement.

“This law will continue our efforts to strengthen and diversify our economy while ensuring that New York remains a national leader in progressive policies that help our environment, protect consumers and bolster the rights of working men and women.”

(c) 2011 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail

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