Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched Round IV of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative, officially kicking off the 2014 competition for up to $750 million in state economic development resources. The Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) will open to applicants on May 1, enabling businesses, municipalities, not-for-profits and the public to begin applying for assistance from dozens of state funding programs, through a single application, for job-creating and community development projects.
"New Yorks economy is on a come-back in large part because we have adopted a grassroots approach to economic development that is creating jobs and growing new industries across our state, Governor Cuomo said. The Regional Councils are working and we plan to continue that success with the fourth round this year. I look forward to seeing the new projects that the regions come up with as we continue to grow our economy and put New Yorkers back to work.
Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy, Chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils said, A fourth round of the Regional Economic Development Councils will continue the achievements weve seen in every area of the state over the past three years. Under Governor Cuomos leadership, these councils were assembled to invest in our local communities from the ground up, and weve seen them do just that. I applaud the work being done by each of the Co-Chairs and their teamsjobs are being created, businesses are expanding, and New York State is back on the right track."
The REDC process has transformed economic development in New York State, creating a statewide framework for bottom-up regional economic growth and streamlining the state funding application process. Over $2 billion in investments from the past three rounds are supporting more than 2,200 projects that have already created or retained more than 100,000 jobs statewide.
Through three rounds of the REDC competition:
- Western New York REDC has delivered $213.9 million for 235 projects
- Finger Lakes REDC has delivered $224.8 million for 255 projects
- Southern Tier REDC has delivered $222.4 million for 207 projects
- Central New York REDC has delivered $264.4 million for 226 projects
- Mohawk Valley REDC has delivered $202 million for 205 projects
- North Country REDC has delivered $274.7 million for 222 projects
- Capital Region REDC has delivered $195.8 million for 272 projects
- Hudson Valley REDC has delivered $219.4 million for 232 projects
- New York City REDC has delivered $175 million for 160 projects
- Long Island REDC has delivered $244.3 million for 250 projects
Round IV of the REDC initiative will award up to $750 million in State funding and tax incentives. To continue to motivate investment opportunities and job creation, the REDCs will compete for up to $150 million in capital funds and $70 million in Excelsior Tax Credits for projects and activities identified by the Councils as priorities in their regions. Additionally, up to $530 million from state agency programs will be awarded through the CFA process.
The competition this year will focus on:
- Implementation of regional strategic economic development plans;
- Performance in encouraging economic growth through job creation and investment; and
- Identification of global marketing and export strategies.
The competition will be split into two parts: the five regions identified as Top Performers in 2013 will compete for two awards of $25 million each; and the five regions not identified as Top Performers in 2013 will compete for three awards of $25 million each. The balance of the $25 million in capital funds will be divided among the remaining five regions. Each region will also be eligible for up to $10 million in Excelsior Tax Credits to help attract business and create jobs in the region.
The 2014 REDC Guidebook and list of available resources will be accessible at www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov. The CFA will open to applicants on May 1st and the deadline for applications is Monday, June 16th at 4 p.m. For applicants, the CFA is available at https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/.
New aspects of the REDC competition in 2014 include:
In 2014, Governor Cuomo launched the Global NY initiative to attract international investment and jobs to Upstate New York and provide New York businesses with the tools and assistance they need to export their products to the global marketplace. In Round IV, the REDCs are asked to develop and implement global marketing and export strategies, building foreign trade and investment approaches into their strategic planning efforts. Export markets are regional, and the REDCs are ideally suited to handle this reality. Widening the geographic lens in trade strategy development will allow REDCs to position their markets to better compete globally by assembling and aligning related regional assets, such as key employers, top industries, workforce, higher education institutions and transportation infrastructure.
Promote Veterans Participation in the Workforce
New York State is home to more than 900,000 veterans, 72 percent of whom served in combat. It is also home to approximately 30,000 active duty military personnel as well as 30,000 National Guard and Reserve personnel. Even though New York has the fourth-highest number of veteran-owned small businessesbehind only California, Texas and Floridareturning veterans have lagged in their reintegration into the economy.
This year, REDCs are asked to create a Veterans Work Group to promote participation by Veterans in the CFA and develop strategies to encourage other potential CFA applicants to include workforce goals related to Veterans employment. The Veterans Work Group will also promote programs to regional employers like Experience Counts which translates veterans military skills and experiences into opportunities for employment; the $74 million tax credit encouraging employers to hire New Yorks post-9/11 veterans who are currently unemployed; and, Governor Cuomos recent establishment of a 6 percent goal in the awarding of State contracts to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.
Support NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan Projects
The New York Rising Community Reconstruction (NYRCR) program was established by Governor Cuomo in July 2013 to provide additional rebuilding and revitalization assistance to communities damaged by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, and severe 2013 summer storms in five upstate counties. By July, NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plans will have been completed for the 102 communities and plans covering 22 other communities will be underway. Each includes projects that will help communities recover and become more resilient.
Projects contained in NY Rising Plans are the result of thoughtful consideration of community needs, project costs and potential benefits, and their impact on risk to existing assets. REDCs should request briefings on projects contained in the NY Rising Plans in their region. When updating regional strategic plans, REDCs should reinforce the value of NY Rising projects that advance REDC priorities to ensure both efforts are benefitting from the dollars being spent. Some State agencies will also be adjusting their scoring criteria to reflect the importance of NY Rising project implementation. The Western NY, Southern Tier, Central NY, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Capital Region, Mid-Hudson, New York City and Long Island regions include communities with NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plans.
About the Consolidated Funding Application
As part of Governor Cuomos efforts to improve the states economic development model, a NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) 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, please visit https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/.
About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative (REDC) is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomos transformative approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo 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. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. After three rounds of the REDC process, more than $2 billion has been awarded to job creation and community development projects consistent with each regions strategic plans, resulting in creation or retention of more than 100,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.