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New York Governor Hochul Announces Launch of Round XIII Regional Economic Development Council Initiative

Governor Hochul today announced the launch of Round XIII of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. Round XIII includes core capital grant and tax-credit funding combined with a wide range of programs from 10 State agencies, including $150 million in grant funds from Empire State Development, available to projects on a continuous basis. The Councils are encouraged to support projects that advance or address strategic State priorities – including green buildings and sustainable development, child care, distressed communities, and innovative public-private partnerships; those projects, will be eligible for additional award funding. New this year, two new micro programs will award capital grants to support New York State craft beverage manufacturers and non-profit organizations, and a new $30 million Challenge competition will award $10 million to up to three regions to implement creative solutions to tackle persistent barriers to economic growth. Also, for the first time since 2015, the Councils will be tasked with updating their strategic regional economic development plans.

“Our Regional Economic Development Council Initiative continues to transform communities across the state, creating jobs and driving private investment all over New York,” Governor Hochul said. “The launch of this latest round builds on state efforts to address our most pressing economic priorities — from sustainable development to the growing demand for childcare — all while empowering communities to tap into their regional strengths. Thanks to the work of the REDCs, New York is continuing to make the catalytic investments that foster economic growth and continued success in every corner of our state.”

“I am proud to lead the next round of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and guide the councils on a path forward that re-establishes each region’s priorities for growth,” said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. “Through coordination and collaboration, we will identify opportunities to advance key industries, advance projects that meet regional needs and enhance each region’s economic vision for the future.”

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “While the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative has been a successful model for economic growth in New York State, at the direction of Governor Hochul, we have been tasked to improve and enhance key programs that will expand on our many successes. Each region will update their strategic plans to re-establish their priorities for growth, continue to guide the deployment of resources, and create an updated road map for each region to achieve its economic vision for the future.” 

Regional Strategic Planning Process Update

The 10 REDCs are guided by their regional strategic economic development plans, which emphasize each region’s unique assets and provide strategies to harness local resources to stimulate regional economic development and create jobs Statewide. This year, the Regional Councils will review and update their plans to re-establish each region’s priorities for growth, guide the deployment of resources, and create an updated road map to achieving its economic vision.

As part of the updated strategic plan, the Councils will be tasked with analyzing specific challenges to economic growth. Each REDC will develop a proposal that outlines creative and innovative solutions to address one specific challenge of their choice. These proposals will be reviewed by the State and up to three winning proposals will be awarded up to $10 million funding to implement the proposed solutions. 

Consolidated Funding Application

The Regional Councils will score projects submitted through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA), the State’s single application for State resources which includes programs from numerous agencies. It is designed to give project applicants expedited and streamlined access to a combined pool of grant funds and tax credits from dozens of existing programs. This year, funding is available from 10 State agencies across 30 programs. Regional Councils will review projects and provide scores that reflect how well a project aligns with a region’s goals and strategies.

In Round XIII, ESD is launching two new micro grant programs: the Craft Beverage Micro Grant Program and the Not-for-Profit Capital Grant Program. Up to $5 million will be available through the Craft Beverage Micro Grant Program, designed to increase the production capacity, business infrastructure and profitability of businesses licensed to produce wine, beer, spirits, hard cider and mead in New York State. Grants ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 would support equipment purchases and facility upgrades.

Up to $5 million will be available through the Not-for-Profit Capital Grant program, which will award matching funds grants to not-for-profit organizations who provide economic and community benefits in their region to assist with facility improvements and upgrades. Grant awards would range from $25,000 to $100,000. 

The 2023 REDC Guidebook and a list of additional resources available to REDC Members are accessible here. The CFA is available here; the deadline for applications is Friday, July 28 at 4 p.m. Open enrollment programs are not subject to the July 28 deadline and will continue to accept applications on an ongoing basis until funds are exhausted.

The REDC process continues to support and empower regional stakeholders in developing strategic plans and funding priorities that meet local economic needs. To date, through the REDC Initiative, more than $7.7 billion has been awarded to more than 9,500 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plan.

About the Consolidated Funding Application              

The Consolidated Funding Application 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. Learn more about the CFA here.

About the Regional Economic Development Councils  

The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of the State’s approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, 10 Regional Councils were established 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. Learn more at regionalcouncils.ny.gov.
More at https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-hochul-announces-launch-round-xiii-regional-economic-development-council-initiative

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