State Sets Economic Development Guidelines

By Dennis Phillips

dphillips@

post-journal.com

The guidelines to apply for a portion of $760 million in economic development resources has been outlined by New York state.

On Wednesday, the state announced the competition guidelines for round three of the Regional Economic Development Councils. The economic development strategy was implemented for the first time in 2011. The plan created 10 regional councils, which were made up of area leaders who would determine which projects were the most vital for economic success. The councils then applied for state funding under a new consolidated-funding formula, which made projects eligible for grant money and tax credits. The combined pool of funding totaled around $738 million for 2012.

The state program in 2012 awarded $52.8 million to 58 projects in Western New York to improve local infrastructure and create jobs. Specific to Chautauqua County, more than $1.475 million was allocated during the second year of the Regional Economic Development Council program. The combined pool of funding totaled around $738 million for 2012.

In 2011, it was reported Western New York received $100.3 million from the program. Chautauqua County received $5.2 million as a result of the first year’s consolidated-funding application. Statewide, $800 million was awarded in 2011.

The 2013 consolidated-funding application resources manual, which outlines the funds available from 29 state agency programs, and the 2013 Regional Economic Development Council guidebook, which provides the competitive guidelines for this year, are both available at regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

”Under Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo’s leadership, it is clear that New York state is on the path to building an economy made for the 21st century,” said Robert J. Duffy, lieutenant governor and Regional Economic Development Council chairman. ”The past two rounds of the Regional Economic Development Councils have shown what a difference we can make to local economies by listening to regional business and community leaders. This year we’re looking for even stronger projects from businesses and applicants of all sizes that will create new jobs for New Yorkers and ensure the Empire State remains a leader in the global economy.”

Each regional council’s progress will once again be reviewed at the end of this round to encourage the implementation of strategic plans and to motivate investment opportunities and job creation.

The councils will be competing for up to $150 million in capital funds and $70 million in excelsior tax credits for projects identified as priorities in each region.

The consolidated-funding application was created in 2011 to give economic development project applicants expedited and streamlined access to a combined pool of grant money and tax credits from dozens of existing programs. The consolidated-funding application will be open from June 17 until Aug. 12.

Money available for projects includes $1.25 million for business incubator and innovation hot spot programs; $10 million for Market New York; $25 million for state community development block grants; $12 million for local waterfront projects; $2 million for state wastewater infrastructure engineering planning grants; $4 million for local government efficiency grants; and $5 million for workforce development.