$750 million available to New York regions for bottom-up economic revitalization

On April 23, 2019, regions across New York state were told that Round IX of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative had officially kicking off. This is an annual economic revitalization competition for over $750 million in state resources.

The Consolidated Funding Application opened to applicants on May 1, enabling businesses, municipalities, not-for-profits and the public to begin applying for assistance from dozens of state programs, through a single application, for job-creation and community development projects.

The REDC process continues to improve the State’s approach to economic development, creating regional strategies for bottom-up economic growth and improving the State funding application process. After eight rounds of the REDC competition, more than $6.1 billion has been awarded to more than 7,300 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans, which together project to create and retain more than 230,000 jobs statewide.

Round IX includes core capital and tax-credit funding that will be combined with a wide range of existing agency programs totaling approximately $750 million. The core funding includes $225 million in grants and tax credits to fund high value regional priority projects. The Budget also makes over $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.

Regional Council priorities in 2019 include:

  • Supporting community investment in placemaking and downtown revitalization;
  • Supporting the Workforce Development Initiative;
  • Working with local businesses and communities to identify childcare needs and develop potential solutions;
  • Developing an economic and environmental justice strategy for the region; and
  • Tracking the progress of the strategic economic development plan and projects funded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA).

By incentivizing the implementation of the strategic plans, Regional Councils, businesses, educational institutions, local governments, not-for-profit groups and other stakeholders are further motivated to work together to accomplish the regional vision. While project funding will be awarded to all 10 Regional Councils through the 2019 CFA, the competition also places an emphasis on the Regional Council’s past performance and action to implement strategies successfully. Encouraging genuine cooperation among the REDCs and representatives of the community is critical to achieving economic progress.

2019 Round IX Awards

The Regional Councils will compete in 2019 for up to $150 million in capital funds and $75 million in Excelsior Tax Credits for projects identified by the Regional Councils as priorities in their regions. All ten regions will be competing this year for designation as a Top Performer. Five top performing regions will be awarded a share of $100 million in ESD Capital grants. The remaining five regions will be awarded a share of $50 million in ESD Capital grants. Each region will also be awarded a share of $75 million in Excelsior Tax Credits to help attract and grow business in the region.

In addition, each region will once again receive $10 million to implement projects identified through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, and projects from all 10 regions submitted through the CFA will be eligible for over $525 million in other state agency funds.

The deadline for applications is Friday, July 26 at 4 p.m.

Featured photo courtesy of Mohawk Valley REDC.

See Consolidated Funding Application website.

See 2019 REDC Guidebook on REDC website.

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