Over $1 Billion for Broadband (ConnectALL)
$1 Billion to Support New York State Small Businesses
$450 Million to Revitalize Downtowns and Grow the Economy
$350 Million to Overhaul the State's Workforce Development Efforts
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced economic development highlights of the FY 2023 Budget. The historic plan makes bold investments to expand economic opportunity for all New Yorkers. These funds will, among others things, drive internet connectivity for all, help reinvigorate and support small businesses, revitalize downtown areas around the state, make substantial commitments to job training and workforce development, and help minority and women owned businesses.
"This once-in-a-generation Budget will help us build a stronger, fairer economy for all New Yorkers as we emerge from the pandemic," Governor Hochul said. "We are investing in the industries of the future, the job skills training New Yorkers need to succeed, the small businesses that are the backbone of our economy, and the digital infrastructure needed today, and I thank the legislative leaders for their efforts to ensure a recovery that reflects the full diversity of New York's economy."
The State Budget commits to investments that will transform the state's digital infrastructure. The over $1 billion ConnectALL initiative — the largest ever investment in New York's 21st century infrastructure — will leverage public and private investments to connect New Yorkers in rural and urban areas statewide to broadband and establish the first municipal broadband program of its kind in the nation. The State's unprecedented investment in this vital infrastructure will help deliver affordable broadband to millions of New Yorkers as well as boost economic growth and local innovation far into the future.
In addition to pioneering investments in digital infrastructure, the State Budget repeals a fee on laying high speed fiber cables along State highways —lowering the cost of high-speed broadband deployment to expand access in upstate communities. The Enacted Budget authorizes the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to make excess capacity in its fiber optic network, which runs along NYPA owned and operated transmission lines, available to provide affordable high-speed broadband in unserved and underserved communities in the state. The use of NYPA's fiber infrastructure is expected to reduce the cost of broadband deployment in communities of need, increasing broadband access and lowering the cost of broadband service for New Yorkers in these regions.
The State Budget also includes a $1 billion investment in the state's small businesses, including targeted programs to ensure all types of small businesses prosper throughout the state. Key components of this plan include:
- Seed Funding for New Small Businesses - This initiative will provide flexible grants to support early stage, micro and small businesses in a recovering New York State economy. The program will ensure that small businesses that opened their doors soon before or during the COVID-19 pandemic will have the funds to continue to operate and grow. This program builds upon the State's $800 million Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program, which has delivered more than $500 million to nearly 29,000 small businesses to date, 90% of which has gone to minority and women-owned businesses, and remains open for applications.
- A COVID Capital Costs Small Business Tax Credit - This $250 million investment will provide small businesses a 50% tax credit of up to $25,000 to cover the unexpected COVID-related costs small businesses have had to incur. This credit covers costs such as the purchase of cleaning supplies, outdoor heaters, air purifiers, signage denoting vaccine/masking policies, and equipment to accommodate contactless payments.
- Tax Relief for Small Businesses - The State will provide $100 million in tax relief for an estimated 195,000 small businesses to help them keep their doors open.
- Expansion of Access to Capital and Job-Creating Investments - This funding will provide capital access, reduced rate financing, and opportunities for venture investments into New York small businesses, with a focus on supporting socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners. State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funds will support both early-stage and established small businesses through a series of programs designed to foster innovation, to give small businesses additional opportunities in state contracting, and to position small businesses for long term viability.
Other components of the 2023 Enacted Budget will invest in the industries that will drive New York's growth:
- The FAST NY grant program will develop shovel-ready sites to attract high-tech manufacturing, particularly semiconductor-related businesses, while increasing the state's attractiveness to large employers.
- Standardizing and centralizing Venture Competitions designed to connect startups with investors and help new innovation-sector businesses access funding.
- Extension and Enhancement of the NYC Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit - to further support this sector, in the wake of the impacts of Omicron on these performances.
- Historic funding for the New York State Council on the Arts, following a record $100M in grants from FY2022 to support the return of the arts across the State.
The State Budget will invest $350 million to support wide-reaching, historic and coordinated investment in workforce development across state agencies and authorities.
- The Office of Workforce and Economic Development at Empire State Development will will leverage Empire State Development's relationships with employers to help identify employer needs, develop tailored regional training strategies, and support programs to train New Yorkers in the skills necessary to succeed in in-demand fields. The office will work in conjunction with the Regional Economic Development Councils, the Department of Labor, the State University of New York and the City University of New York and other partners to ensure coordinated training and workforce strategies.
- Flexible grants and capital to be administered by the new Office of Workforce Development will support cutting edge skills training efforts across the regions of New York State.
- Targeted investments in teachers, healthcare workers, collegiate apprenticeships and internships, mental health professionals, and caregivers.
The State Budget demonstrates that New York leads the way in equity, by providing for its new cannabis industry and for minority and women owned businesses, including:
- A $200 million fund sourced from fees and revenue from the cannabis industry and significant private capital investment to assist social and economic equity-entrepreneurs with the build-out of their adult-use cannabis businesses.
- $11 million to invest in faster Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) certifications and address the backlog in pending certifications and promote equal access to reduced-rate loans for MWBEs.
The State Budget also provides over $1 billion in new economic and community development funding across a number of valuable programs, including Round XII of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Awards and a sixth round of the popular Downtown Revitalization Initiative, to include NY Forward as a means to enhance support for smaller, rural communities. Additional budget investments include: community-based grants to enhance waterfronts; the New York Works Economic Development Fund to create new, or to retain existing jobs; the RESTORE NY program, which aims to restore blighted properties; and additional funding for the Olympic Regional Development Authority to continue upgrading and modernizing facilities and ski resorts.