New York state has launched Round XI of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative, officially kicking off a new decade of economic development in a post-pandemic recovery.
The program, which has helped fund many development projects in the region, did not operate during 2020.
The 2021 funding round includes more than $750 million in state economic development resources, officials said. The Consolidated Funding Application opened May 10, enabling businesses, municipalities, nonprofits and the public to apply for assistance from dozens of state programs for job-creation and community development projects.
The deadline for applications is Friday, July 30, at 4 p.m.
To date, through the competition the Capital Region REDC, which includes Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties, has been awarded $673 million for 933 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. “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 part year, there is no challenge they can’t meet today.
“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.”
Over the past 10 years, the Regional Economic Development Councils have revitalized the state’s economy through a community-based and performance-driven approach to economic development. This year, the state will again leverage the expertise of the REDCs to invest $750 million in strategic, regional efforts to drive the recovery in every corner of the state.
“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 Regional Economic Development Councils. “New York has seen tremendous growth in all 10 regions through the REDCs.”
Round XI 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.
Officials said 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.
The 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. Additionally, 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 over $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.
Officials said the REDC process continues to improve the state’s approach to economic development, creating regional strategies for bottom-up, economic growth and streamlining the funding application process.
To date, through the REDC competition, more than $6.9 billion has been awarded to more than 8,300 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans, which project to create and retain more than 240,000 jobs statewide.