Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Submits 2016 Progress Report
The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC) today announced it has submitted its 2016 Progress Report – entitled Finger Lakes Forward-United for Success – to New York State, meeting the October 3 deadline. The progress report details the Council’s achievements in implementing its five year strategic planand reflects the Finger Lakes’ progress on efforts to ensure sustainable and long-term growth in the nine county region and leveraging the region’s advantages in key industry sectors, including photonics, optics and imaging, advanced and next generation manufacturing, and agriculture and food production.
In furtherance of these goals, strategies and initiatives, the report recommends 33 priority projects to advance the region’s growth objectives. These projects, from Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties, represent a total proposed state investment of at least $25 million, leveraging $245.5 million in private and other funding for total project expenses of more than $270 million with a return on investment of 11 to 1.
Detailed information about the FLREDC’s 2016 endorsed priority projects is available in the progress report at www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov
The report also outlines the region’s strong performance record in implementing its strategies and projects since 2011, the first round of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative. Over the last five years, 512 projects in the Finger Lakes region have received awards through the REDC process. These projects represent $230 million in state support leveraging $1.9 billion in total investment, providing a ratio of more than 8 to1.
Finger Lakes Regional Development Council Co-Chairs Danny Wegman, CEO of Wegmans Food Markets and Anne Kress, President of Monroe Community College said, “The state support we have received over the last six years has allowed our regions’ transformation and accelerated our momentum in moving the Finger Lakes forward. The commitment of all council members is certainly evident in the 2016 progress report. As a region, we remain united for success, continuing our shared vision to extend economic opportunities to all of the region’s residents.”
Round VI of the REDC initiative will award more than $750 million in state funding and tax incentives, including up to $175 million in capital grants and up to $70 million in Excelsior Tax Credits for projects and activities identified by the Councils as regional priorities in their communities. Additionally, over $510 million from state agency programs will be awarded through the CFA process.
Regional Council priorities in 2016 include:
- Support the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Plan, and begin to identify priority projects in the defined community;
- Implementing strategies through the project pipeline;
- Training the workforce for today and tomorrow; and
- Measuring the performance and progress of the strategic plan and CFA projects.
To encourage the implementation of the Regional Economic Development Councils’ strategic plans and to continue to motivate investment opportunities and job creation, the Regional Councils will compete in 2016 for up to $175 million in capital funds and $70 million in Excelsior Tax Credits for projects identified by the Regional Councils as priorities in their regions.
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 2016 CFA, the competition places emphasis on Regional Council performance and action to implement strategies. Encouraging genuine cooperation among the REDCs and representatives of the community is critical to achieving economic development success.
Round VI Awards
In 2016, all 10 REDCs will be competing for a designation as a Top Performer. Five Top Performers will be selected and will receive up to $25 million in Empire State Development Capital Grant funding, with the remaining five regions receiving up to $10 million in Empire State Development Capital Grant funding. Additionally, each region will be eligible for up to $15 million in Excelsior Tax Credits to help attract and grow businesses in the region.
Later this fall, the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team (SIAT), which is comprised of NYS agency commissioners and outside experts, will receive in-person presentations from each of the 10 REDCs as part of its review and recommendation process. The 2016 REDC awards will be announced before the end of the year.
About the Consolidated Funding Application
As part of Governor Cuomo’s efforts to improve the state’s economic development model, a NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) 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. To access the CFA, please visit https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/.
About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo's approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils 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. After five rounds of the REDC process, nearly $4 billion has been awarded to job creation and community development projects consistent with each regions strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 200,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.