Senator George Borrello (R,C,I, LIBT), an unwavering advocate for rural New Yorkers and champion of agriculture, small business and middle-class tax relief, was re-elected to the New York State Senate in November 2020, one year after winning a 2019 special election for the seat.
Encompassing 4,139 square miles, the 57th Senate District is one of the state’s largest and includes Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties plus eight towns in Livingston County.
A successful businessman and entrepreneur for most of his adult life, Senator Borrello founded his own company, Top-Shelf Marketing, in his early 20s. After growing the business into a nationally recognized supplier to the hospitality industry, he merged it with another company where he spent 20 years in executive management.
His experiences as a small business owner have given him a firsthand perspective on the tax and regulatory hurdles that burden employers in New York State. He has used that knowledge to author legislation aimed at easing the burdens on small businesses and providing incentives for them to innovate and expand.
He has also led efforts to assist the small business community in the wake of New York’s economic shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He co-authored a regionally based, science-guided reopening plan, which ultimately became the model for our state to return to work. He also advanced a comprehensive small business relief and recovery package, which helped inform similar legislation that was ultimately adopted.
As the Ranking Member on the Senate’s Agriculture Committee, Senator Borrello has championed legislation to ease tax and regulatory burdens on New York’s farmers and has led opposition to further reductions in the 60-hour overtime threshold for farm workers. Recognizing the positive impact of the pandemic program Nourish NY, he worked with colleagues across the aisle to advance legislation to make the farm to food bank initiative permanent. The legislation has passed both houses of the Legislature and is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature.
Other key priorities of Senator Borrello include: reducing New York’s high tax burden to help stem the outflow of jobs and residents from upstate New York, reducing the cost of government through the imposition of a state spending cap, and workforce development initiatives to ensure young people have access to good-paying jobs.
Senator Borrello first entered public service because he saw the region he loved struggling with many challenges. From population loss and blighted neighborhoods, to increasing taxes and regulations, to an aging infrastructure, the desire to contribute positive solutions drove him to get involved. He served eight years as a Chautauqua County legislator where he pursued projects to promote tourism, improve infrastructure, downsize government, and clean up run-down properties.
Seeking to have an even greater impact, he ran for County Executive in 2017. Seeing the great potential of a county that faced many challenges because of a lack of coordination and communication among municipalities, he prioritized outreach and collaboration. Among the achievements of his tenure were stronger partnerships with the business community, county budgets that reduced taxes and made record infrastructure investments, and an unprecedented agreement among Chautauqua Lake stakeholders that led to vast improvements in the lake’s usability.
Senator Borrello is a graduate of Fredonia High School and received his bachelor’s degree from Purdue University.
He and his wife Kelly are small business owners. They operate businesses in the Town of Hanover including Cabana Sam’s Sunset Bay Grill, The Sunset Bay Beach Club and Villaggio Italiano Pizza & Pasta.
They reside in Sunset Bay and are active in local charity and volunteer organizations.