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WNYREDC submits 2018 progress report

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Tue, Oct 2nd 2018 06:15 pm
WNYREDC endorses 16 priority projects for round VIII of Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Council initiative
The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC) announced it recently submitted its 2018 progress report - titled "2011-2018 7 Years of Transforming Our Region" - to New York state to meet the Oct. 1 deadline. The progress report details the council's achievements in implementing its strategic plan; reflects Western New York's progress on efforts to ensure sustainable and long-term growth in the five-county region, and to leverage the region's advantages in key industry sectors, including advanced manufacturing, agriculture, binational logistics, energy, health and life sciences, higher education, professional services and tourism.
In furtherance of these goals, strategies and initiatives, the report recommends 16 priority projects to advance the region's growth objectives. These projects, from Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties, represent a total proposed state investment of at least $20 million, leveraging $153 million in private and other funding for total project costs of more than $173 million. Collectively, these priority projects would support the creation of 143 new jobs, 96 indirect jobs, the retention of 113 existing jobs, and leverage a return on investment of 9 to 1.
Detailed information about the WNYREDC's 2018 endorsed priority projects is available in the progress report HERE.
The report also outlines the region's performance record in implementing its strategies and projects since 2011, the first round of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The first seven rounds resulted in 605 projects moving forward in Western New York, 85 percent of which are completed or on schedule. In total, $487.2 million in state funding has been awarded to Western New York through the REDC process.
"Once again, this progress report demonstrates that the governor's strategic approach to economic development is working for Western New York," said Jeff Belt, WNYREDC co-chair and SolEpoxy CEO. "The region's economy is heading in the right direction consistently for the first time in decades. But the WNYREDC is not resting. We continue to prioritize projects that advance our core strategies, in order to ensure the Western New York's economy will continue on a steady growth trajectory and create opportunities for prosperity among all of our residents and all of our communities."
"The incremental growth we are seeing in Western New York can be attributed to the WNYREDC and its community-based, performance-driven approach to economic development," said WNYREDC Council co-chair and president of the State University of New York at Fredonia, Dr. Virginia Horvath. "Our progress report demonstrates how we are moving forward and how we will continue to do so on our path to prosperity. The collective support of the state and the region in executing our homegrown strategies has been the key factor in making sure Western New York has a bright future."
Round eight of the REDC initiative will award more than $750 million in state funding and tax incentives, including up to $150 million in capital grants and up to $75 million in Excelsior Tax Credits for projects and activities identified by the councils as regional priorities in their communities. Additionally, over $525 million from state agency programs will be awarded through the CFA process. Funding awards will be announced by the end of the year.
The REDC process has transformed New York state government's approach economic development, creating a statewide framework for bottom-up, regional economic growth and streamlining the state funding application process. Since 2011, the first year of the initiative, more than $5.4 billion has been awarded to more than 6,300 projects that are projected to create and retain more than 220,000 jobs statewide.
2018 REDC Competition
In 2018, all 10 REDCs will be competing for a designation as a top performer. Five top performers will be selected and will receive up to $20 million in Empire State Development capital grant funding, with the remaining five regions receiving up to $10 million in Empire State Development capital grant funding. Each region will also receive $10 million to implement projects identified through the downtown revitalization initiative, and projects from all 10 regions submitted through the CFA will be eligible for over $525 million in other state agency funds.
About the Consolidated Funding Application
As part of Cuomo's efforts to improve the state's economic development model, a New York 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. To access the CFA, visit https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/.
About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of Cuomo's approach to state investment and economic development. In 2011, the governor 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 non-governmental organizations. After seven rounds of the REDC process, more than $5.4 billion has been awarded to job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 220,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

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