WNYREDC holds public meeting in Buffalo
The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council held a public meeting Wednesday in Buffalo at the 43North Incubator at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Innovation Center. The meeting, attended by new WNYREDC Co-Chair Jeff Belt and new WNYREDC Executive Director Christopher Schoepflin, included presentations on the fifth round of the Regional Economic Development Council competition and funding, a "Buffalo Billion" update, 43North highlights and round two status of the business plan competition.
"For my first meeting as co-chair, I'm pleased to report that the council is well underway and soliciting quality projects that align with and advance our region's strategy for prosperity," Belt said. "This will be the fifth round of funding through the regional council initiative. Diversity makes our region strong, so we are encouraging the widest possible spectrum of project applicants."
"Gov. Cuomo's REDC initiative has truly transformed our region's economy and we are looking to continue this trend as we solicit project ideas for round five," said Satish K. Tripathi, WNYREDC co-chair and University at Buffalo president. "The REDC has allowed us the opportunity to capitalize on our own unique assets and, as always, we will put forward an exciting plan that invests in our region's future."
Cuomo recently announced the launch of round five of the REDC competition, which includes up to $750 million in state economic development resources. The consolidated funding application opened to applicants May 1 with a deadline of 4 p.m. July 31, allotting more time than past years for WNYREDC to solicit and identify projects in the region. This timeline also provides additional time for businesses, municipalities, not-for-profits and the public to apply for assistance from dozens of state funding programs for job creation and community development projects.
As in prior years, the REDCs will submit a progress report for round five, which provides both an update on the council's implementation of its strategic plan and an outline of the projects and proposals for which the REDC is seeking funding. The 2015 REDC progress report updates and priority project lists for all 10 regions are due to the state Sept. 21.
The WNYREDC will hold three CFA workshops for potential applicants to learn more about the fifth round of Cuomo's initiative to stimulate job creation and economic growth through the REDCs. Register for the CFA workshops at http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/western-new-york.
The WNYREDC also encourages businesses, educational institutions, local governments, not-for-profit groups and other stakeholders to submit specific project ideas via the new priority project request form at: http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/genericcfa/western-new-york-priority-project-request-form. The new priority project request form is an optional submission that replaces the former WNYREDC letter of interest. An official CFA must still be submitted to be considered for state funding.
The WNYREDC, which is composed of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties, is one of 10 regional councils across New York that serve as a single point of contact for economic activity in the various regions. Successful projects will be those that are ready for implementation and align with the Western New York region's 2011 strategic plan, "A Strategy for Prosperity," which focuses on economic enablers that promote smart growth, prepare the workforce, and foster a culture of entrepreneurship. Successful projects will also leverage these principles to accelerate key industry sectors, which include advanced manufacturing, agriculture, binational logistics, energy, health and life sciences, higher education, professional services and tourism.
In the first four rounds of the Regional Council initiative, the Western New York region was awarded $273.5 million in state support for 306 projects across its five counties. To learn more about the WNYREDC, visit http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/western-new-york.