General FAQ's

What is the NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA)?

As part of the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative, the CFA is a modern and easy-to-use online application for accessing state resources currently available from multiple New York State agencies and authorities. The CFA allows applicants to access multiple State funding sources through one application. Application materials can be accessed through

Why should a grant applicant apply for funding through the CFA process?

The CFA is a more efficient and effective process for applicants to access economic and community development funding. Prior to 2011, applicants had to navigate multiple agencies and applications without any mechanism for coordination. Under this process, the CFA serves as the single entry point for access to economic and community development funding. A CFA can be submitted for single or multiple sources of funding through one application, making it quicker and easier for economic development projects to receive funding.

Who submits a CFA?

An applicant can submit the CFA via a secure, web-based application for programs included in the CFA Resources Available Guide which can be found on the REDC homepage.

Is the CFA system any different this round?

Yes. Many changes have been made to make navigating through the process of filling out an application easier.

How are you encouraging participation by likely applicants?

To maximize participation in the process and ensure high-quality applications, webinars are posted online to explain the programs and eligibility standards.

How is a project submitted to the Regional Council for consideration and review?

Any project may be submitted for consideration through the CFA (by clicking the Consolidated Funding Application tab at: The project will be submitted to the appropriate workgroup for review and recommendation by the full Council. The Application will be forwarded to the appropriate agency for technical review and scoring.

If applicants have additional questions about the CFA or would like to request assistance with the application who do they contact?

These applicants should reach out directly to their local Empire State Development (ESD) Regional Office. A complete list of the ESD Regional Offices can be found at

What is the CFA timeline and how does it relate to the work of the Regional Councils?

The CFA will be open from May 10 until the application due date of 4:00PM July 30. However, some programs in the CFA are open enrollment programs, meaning they will continue to accept applications beyond the 4:00PM July 30 deadline. Please see the 2021 CFA Resources Available Guide which outlines which programs are subject to the 4:00 PM July 30 deadline.

Final attachments related to program specific requirements need to be uploaded to the system by the application due date for programs subject to the deadline.

What happens to the application once it is submitted?

Once the CFA is submitted by the applicant, it is reviewed and scored by the appropriate Regional Council in relation to how it will assist in implementing the strategic plan. The agencies that administer the program will review the application and assign a technical score to the CFA.

Can applicants reapply for funding of projects that were not successful applications in previous rounds?

Applicants can reapply for funding for projects not funded in the past if the program is still available. Applicants are encouraged to consult their Regional Council strategic plan to enhance project proposals to best implement the Regional Council strategic plan.

Is there any way to see who was awarded these grants in previous rounds and how much they received?

All awards from previous rounds are posted on the Regional Council webpage.

Funding Sources

Which agencies offer funding through the CFA?

Ten State agencies have made funding available through the CFA process, including: Empire State Development; NYS Canal Corporation; NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); Environmental Facilities Corporation; Homes and Community Renewal; New York Power Authority; Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Department of State; Department of Environmental Conservation; and NYS Council on the Arts.

What resources are available through the CFA?

Over $750 million in State resources will be accessible through the CFA to support the implementation of the priorities identified in each of the Regional Councils’ strategic plans. A full list of resources for each agency and program can be found in the 2021 CFA Resources Available Guide.





Where can an applicant find guidance on applying for specific funding programs?

On the CFA home page, several documents are posted, detailing how to use the CFA and outlining the available CFA resources. These documents provide applicants with information about the application as well as programmatic detail for each resource that is a part of the CFA process. There are also recorded webinars on the CFA website describing the programs and their eligibility requirements.

What if a project is eligible for funding that is not accessible through the CFA process? How do Regional Councils support applicants in obtaining these resources?

If a project is not eligible for funding through the CFA process, contact your ESD Regional Office. State agency staff will work with the Regional Council to identify potential funding sources and/or assistance when a non-eligible project is deemed a priority.

Is there funding available outside of the CFA?

The CFA is the primary portal for economic development resources. However, there is other funding that is not included in the CFA from a variety of programs and state agencies.

Technical Assistance

What is a “token”?

A token is what applicants use as their password for the CFA system.

How do I get a token?

After clicking “Register New Application” at, you will be asked for your email address, organization name, and project alias name. After filling in this required information and answering the security question (ex. 3+5=) your token will be displayed on the screen. Print or note your token somewhere safe as you will need it to sign in and access your project later.

I have registered and have a token, now what? How do I activate my account?

After you register, you will receive an email from [email protected] It will contain your application number and a link to activate your account. You should save a copy of this email and keep it with your sign in information. When you click on the activation link, in your email, a registration confirmation will open up in your browser. To enter your application, click on the login button and enter your email address and token number.

I submitted an application last round. Can I still access that application?

Yes. You can access your application from previous rounds by logging in using the token assigned to you during that round. If you have lost or forgotten your token, on the Log in page, you can select 'Forgot Token?'. Please note that you can only view and/or print your old application. You must fill out a new application to be eligible for the current round.

Can I register more than one project on the same profile and token?

Yes. You have the option to create a new application that will be associated with an already registered profile. The e-mail address and token you use to log in will remain the same and you will have the option to start a new application or you can start a new profile by registering a new e-mail address.

Do you need a new CFA number if you applied last year?

Yes, you need to reapply through the CFA and obtain a new CFA number and token.

If you’re a consultant representing an applicant, which party is awarded the funding?

The contract will be with the applicant, not the consultant.

Can you save your application and come back to it?

Yes, the application automatically saves as you complete it and allows you to log in and out as long as you have your login email and token

Does the CFA on-line application process require an applicant to answer the same questions twice if applying for funding with multiple agencies?

An advantage of the Consolidated Funding Application is to combine applications from multiple state agencies in one location to avoid duplication as much as possible. Given the complexity of the funding available, there may be some similarities between program questions if the project is eligible for multiple funding streams.

Will there be a size limit for uploaded documents to the CFA process?

Yes. The files must be in PDF, JPG or ZIP format and cannot be larger than 30 MB in size. You may combine multiple PDF files into a single .ZIP file if necessary. Avoid using special characters like *,%,#,:,; in your document name as this will cause errors in the upload. If an attachment question requires more than one document, you must create a single PDF or JPG file that contains all the required documents or a ZIP file that contains the required documents in PDF or JPG format.

Program Guidance

Projects are often long term with many phases. Can the application be made now if the project begins next year?

Yes, projects can be submitted during any phase. However, please note that project readiness is a key component of evaluations by the Regional Councils and applicable agencies.

If a project is in process and about to begin another phase, can you apply?

Yes, projects can apply to future expenditures.

Please clarify the MWBE requirements, what if you cannot find contractors that fit the guidelines?

Regional Council award winners will have language in their contracts that outlines specific commitments to achieving goals for MWBE participation. The awardee commits to these guidelines when they execute the contract. For a list of the registered MWBEs, please visit the following link

What proves good faith effort regarding MWBE participation in sub-contracting?

Specific agency requirements will be included in contracts with projects that are awarded CFA resources.

Can you apply for two different projects?

Yes. Each project will need to be registered and applied for separately. That is, each project will need to have its own CFA and application number.

Is it important to have matching funds?

This is dependent on the agency and funding program through which funds are requested from. Projects that leverage funding from other sources will be viewed favorably.

Do all agencies have staff to answer questions?

Every agency’s program presentation has contact information included. These presentations can also be found on the REDC  webpage.

How do you do the budget for multiple programs?

You will have separate budget lines for each program requiring budget information.

I am aware that the CFA will guide you to eligible programs, but is it advisable to reach out to the specific agencies as well?

The CFA and other online resources are very user-friendly, but applicants are encouraged to make contact with agency staff when necessary.


How will the agencies score the CFAs?

The agencies use their own scoring techniques and assign points to eligible projects using criteria contained in the Available CFA Resources document. The score incorporates the individual program’s technical scoring requirements based on the program requirements. The agency’s technical score, worth up to 80% of the total score, will be combined with the Regional Council scoring of up to 20% of the total score.

How will the Regional Councils’ endorsement standards relate to regional strategic plans?

Each Regional Council will assign a score for CFA projects based on the degree to which the application implements the regional strategic plan, as follows:


Will a project that has merit, but does not create jobs, be considered?

Although job creation is a very important criterion, it is not the only one. Other factors, such as the project’s benefits to the community and how it advances the Strategic Plan, are taken into consideration when scoring applications. Projects that do not directly create jobs are still eligible to apply.

Grants Gateway

I am a not-for-profit organization. Do I need to pre-qualify with Grants Gateway in order to submit an application in the CFA?

Yes, if the program you are applying to requires it. More information on the Grants Gateway can be found at