Regional Economic Development Councils begin next decade of awards

Regional Economic Development Councils begin next decade of awards

The state of New York will continue its successful Regional Economic Development Council initiative and a more than $750 million Consolidated Funding Application.

The CFA opened on May 10, enabling businesses, municipalities, nonprofits and the public to begin applying for assistance from dozens of state programs for job-creation and community development projects.

“The COVID pandemic has taken a tremendous toll on our state, but now is our time to build back better and stronger than before and create a New York that serves our children and their children and their children,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “It’s going to be hard — it’s always hard to do what has never been done before — but after what New Yorkers have been through this past year, there is no challenge they can’t meet today.

“We’re announcing a new decade of the Regional Economic Development Councils so that regions all across the state can plan their own economic rebirth and come up with their own smart and daring plans to rebuild, and New York state will fund it,” he added. “We’ve done this before and it’s worked tremendously well, but it’s more important this year than ever before because the stakes are higher this year than ever before.”

Round XI of the REDC initiative includes core capital and tax-credit funding that will be combined with a wide range of existing agency programs totaling roughly $750 million. The core funding includes $225 million in grants and tax credits to fund high-value regional priority projects. The budget also makes more than $525 million in resources from state agencies available to support community revitalization and business growth consistent with the existing REDC plans through the CFA process.

In order to be responsive to the immediate needs of the development community and as the state is making crucial investments to generate economic activity, the $150 million in grant funds from Empire State Development will be made available to projects on a continuous and competitive basis this round, officials said.

“As we enter the 11th round of this initiative and as the state continues to move forward following the devastating effects of the pandemic, we are committed to this bottom-up approach to foster regional partnerships and make strategic investments,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, chair of the statewide REDCs. “New York has seen tremendous growth in all 10 regions through the REDCs.”

Each of the state’s 10 Regional Councils will identify and recommend priority projects that will be eligible for up to $150 million in capital funds on a rolling basis, meaning projects will be reviewed throughout the round. An emphasis will be placed on project readiness and alignment with each region’s strategic plan.

In addition, projects within each region will also be eligible for a share of $75 million in Excelsior Tax Credits to help attract and grow business in the region. Projects from all 10 regions submitted through the CFA will be eligible for more than $525 million in other state agency funds, which are available on a set timeline. Regional Economic Development Councils will review these projects and provide scores that reflect how well a project aligns with a region’s goals and strategies.

To date, through the REDC competition:

• Western New York REDC has been awarded $620.4 million for 890 projects;
• Finger Lakes REDC has been awarded $721 million for 950 projects;
• Southern Tier REDC has been awarded $702.3 million for 764 projects;
• Central New York REDC has been awarded $789.8 million for 801 projects;
• Mohawk Valley REDC has been awarded $697.7 million for 721 projects;
• North Country REDC has been awarded $682.2 million for 690 projects;
• Capital Region REDC has been awarded $673 million for 933 projects;
• Mid-Hudson REDC has been awarded $713.6 million for 914 projects;
• New York City REDC has been awarded $615.9 million for 819 projects; and
• Long Island REDC has been awarded $727 million for 885 projects.

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