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Western New York Regional Economic Development Council submits 2019 progress report

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Wed, Oct 2nd 2019 08:00 pm

Council endorses 13 priority projects for round IX of Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative

The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council announced it recently submitted its 2019 progress report to New York state to meet the Oct. 1 deadline. The progress report details the council’s achievements in implementing its strategic plan and 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 tourism, health life sciences, agriculture and advanced manufacturing.

In furtherance of these goals, strategies and initiatives, the report recommends 13 priority projects to advance the region’s growth objectives. These projects represent at least $16 million in requested state funding, leveraging $66.8 million in private and other funding for total project expenses of more than $82.8 million.

Detailed information about the WNYREDC’s 2019 endorsed priority projects is available in the progress report here.

Jeff Belt, WNYREDC co-chair and SolEpoxy president, said, “Western New York continues to make tremendous progress on the implementation of its strategies. Our local-driven approach to investing state resources are reflected in the region’s economic indicators, the progress of our priority projects and the positive attitudes you encounter walking the streets in our neighborhoods. The WNYREDC will continue to work together, form partnerships and advance our regional economy’s trajectory.”

Round IX 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.

A press release said, “The REDC process has transformed New York government’s approach to 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 $6.1 billion has been awarded to over 7,300 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 230,000 jobs.”

2019 REDC Competition

In 2019, all 10 REDCs will be competing for a designation as a top performer. Five top performers will be selected and will receive a share of $100 million in Empire State Development capital grant funding, with the remaining five regions receiving a share of $50 million in funding. Each region will also be eligible for up to $75 million in Excelsior tax credits. 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 Consolidated Funding Application

As part of Gov. Andrew 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/.

The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of Cuomo’s 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. For more information, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

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