New York Economic Development Council
Syracuse, N.Y. - New York's 10 regional economic development councils will compete for more than $800 million in state economic development aid in the latest round of an initiative launched by Gov. Andrew Cuomo six years ago.
The application process for a piece of the $800 million will begin Monday, May 1. Businesses, municipalities, not-for-profits and members of the public can begin applying through a single application for assistance from dozens of state programs for projects that create jobs and help revitalize communities.
The deadline for applications is 4 p.m. Friday, July 28. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.
In 2011, Cuomo created 10 advisory councils throughout the state to recommend projects for state financial assistance. The councils review applications submitted in their regions and recommend some of them to the state for funding, which can include grants and tax credits.
The regional council initiative replaced a system in which a handful of senior state political leaders decided, with little or no public input, which projects would receive state assistance each year.
The $800 million to be given out in the seventh round includes $150 million in capital grants and $75 million in Excelsior tax credits - a total of $225 million - from Empire State Development, the state's economic development arm, for projects identified by the councils as regional priorities.
As part of the competition for the $150 million in capital grants, all 10 regions will compete for the designation as a "top performer, " based on the performance of their previously funded projects. Five regions will receive "top performer" designation and will receive awards of up to $20 million. The remaining five regions will receive up to $10 million in grant funds.
In addition to the $225 million in grants and tax credits, $575 million in aid from two dozen state agency programs will be awarded for projects that align with the regional council's strategic plans.
The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council has pulled down the most in state aid through the initiative. It was awarded $529.1 million for 505 projects in the first six rounds.
In addition, the Central New York council's "CNY Rising" strategic economic development plan has been awarded $500 million in aid under Cuomo's Upstate Revitalization Initiative.
The state is encouraging the councils this year to survey industries and educational institutions in their regions to identify skills gaps and recommend strategies for bridging the gaps. State officials say a shortage of workers with the skills most in demand by industry are a significant obstacle to business expansion efforts.
Here is the total funding that each regional council has received in the first six rounds of the governor's initiative:
- Central New York council, $529.1 million for 505 projects;
- Finger Lakes council, $506.1 million for 605 projects;
- Long Island council, $486.5 million for 590 projects.
- North Country council, $484.6 million for 456 projects;
- Southern Tier council, $480.6 million for 471 projects;
- Mid-Hudson council, $475.9 million for 574 projects;
- Mohawk Valley council, $444.1 million for 462 projects;
- Capital Region council, $436.9 million for 608 projects;
- Western New York council, $418.4 million for 551 projects;
- New York City council, $400.4 million for 452 projects;