Public forums explain CFA process and how to access up to $750 million in economic development funding from agency programs through one application
The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council will hold three consolidated funding application workshops for potential applicants to learn more about the fifth round of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's initiative to stimulate job creation and economic growth through the REDCs.
The workshops will be held June 3 in Buffalo, June 15 in Jamestown, and June 29 in Niagara Falls. Businesses, educational institutions, local governments, community organizations, not-for-profit groups and other local stakeholders are encouraged to attend one of these scheduled public workshops to learn about New York's CFA process and how to access up to $750 million in competitive economic development funding from more than 20 programs available through 11 state agencies using one online application.
Register for the workshops by visiting http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/western-new-york or by calling 716-846-8206.
The CFA application period is now open to applicants across the five-county Western New York region, which includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. The deadline for CFA submissions is 4 p.m. (sharp) Friday, July 31. No late applications will be accepted. The CFA is available at https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/.
The Western New York region's 2011 plan, "A Strategy for Prosperity," leverages the region's strategic advantages in key industry sectors, including advanced manufacturing; agriculture; binational logistics; energy, health and life sciences; higher education; professional services; and tourism. The plan focuses on strategies that promote smart growth, prepare the workforce and foster a culture of entrepreneurship.
For round five, the council is seeking applicants that not only reflect the priorities that are most important to address Western New York's opportunities and challenges, but will also create, retain or fill jobs; maximize a return on investment; and are ready for implementation.
The schedule for Western New York CFA workshops includes:
•Wednesday, June 3 in Buffalo
1:30 to 4 p.m. at D'Youville College - College Center Building
•Monday, June 15 in Jamestown
1:30 to 4 p.m. at Jamestown Community Center - Cutco Theater
•Monday, June 29 in Niagara Falls
1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls Cascades Ballroom
The workshops will include an overview of available funding programs, selection criteria and instructions on how to use the online application system, followed by informational breakout sessions with state agency representatives on specific areas of funding available for economic development projects.
Applicants are encouraged to reach out to the state agency resource team for technical assistance prior to submitting an application and to view the 2015 tool kit on the WNYREDC website for tips and guidance.
About the New York State Consolidated Funding Application
As part of Cuomo's efforts to improve the state's economic development model, a state consolidated funding application was created to streamline and expedite the grant application process. The CFA process marks a fundamental shift in the way state resources are allocated, ensuring less bureaucracy and greater efficiency to fulfill local economic development needs. The CFA serves as the single entry point for access to economic development funding, ensuring applicants no longer have to slowly navigate multiple agencies and sources without any mechanism for coordination. Now, economic development projects use the CFA as a support mechanism to access multiple state funding sources through one application, making the process quicker, easier, and more productive.
There are more than 20 programs available through 11 state agencies in 2015, including Empire State Development; New York State Canal Corp.; New York State Energy Research and Development Authority; Environmental Facilities Corp.; Homes and Community Renewal; Department of Labor; Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Department of State; The New York Power Authority; Department of Environmental Conservation; and Council on the Arts.
The 2015 Available CFA Resources Manual, which outlines the funds available from different state agency programs, and the 2015 REDC Guidebook, which provides the competitive guidelines for this year, are both available on the REDC website.
About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of Cuomo's transformative approach to state investment and economic development. In 2011, Cuomo established 10 regional councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government and nongovernmental organizations.
The regional councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom-up approach and establishing a competitive process for state resources.
After three rounds of the REDC process, more than $2 billion has been awarded to job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plans, resulting in creation or retention of more than 100,000 jobs.
For more information on the regional councils, visit http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/.