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Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Announces Updates on Priority Projects & Additional $15 Million in Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits for Second Round of CFA

(June 22, 2012)

Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Announces Updates on Priority Projects & Additional $15 Million in Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits for Second Round of CFA

The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council (CNYREDC) today announced updates on the Priority Projects identified in 2011 as being transformative for the region, and that an additional $15 million in Excelsior Tax Credits will be available to projects in the second round of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative.

During the first round of the Regional Council and Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process, 26 priority projects in the region approved by the CNYREDC received funding. Currently, 24 projects are moving forward on-time, including nine projects already underway, and four slated to commence in July.

“Economic development project teams across Central New York have hit the ground running,” said Nancy Cantor, Chancellor and President of Syracuse University and Co-Chair of the CNYREDC. “This shows us that our region’s highly collaborative process of identifying industry strengths and prioritizing high-potential projects really is paying off. Not only are we making tangible progress on our first round of projects, but we’ve established an inclusive regional planning infrastructure that positions us to be competitive in future rounds.”

“The projects selected in the first round of the Regional Council process are already making a significant impact on our communities by creating jobs and stimulating economic growth,” said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO and Co-Chair of the CNYREDC. “We are pleased with the progress to date, and the Council will remain vigilant to ensure that these projects stay on track as we develop a pipeline of quality projects in the second round that are consistent with the CNYREDC’s strategic goals.”

At the last meeting of the CNYREDC, the Council was given an update on the status of the region’s priority projects, including a presentation on the Cortland Downtown Project, a business incubator program that was a first round CFA recipient. Furthermore, the CNYREDC Executive Committee and the Public Participation Committee reported out and two new committees were formed – the Workforce Committee, chaired by Council member Ann Marie Taliercio, President of UNITE HERE Local 150 AFL-CIO, and the Transformative Projects Committee, lead by co-chairs Cantor and Simpson.

Currently, the status of the CNYREDC’s 26 priority projects from the first round is as follows:

  • 16 of the applicants have signed the Incentive Proposal, the contract that allows a project to begin work;
  • 9 projects have started;
  • 4 projects are projected to begin work in July;
  • 5 applicants have received their Incentive Proposal, with signatures pending;
  • 3 Incentive Proposals are pending finalization to be sent to applicants shortly, no issues are anticipated;
  • 2 applicants, Huhtamaki and United Healthcare, declined assistance.

The Council was also notified that an additional $15 million in Excelsior Tax Credits are available in the second round. The Council members must now develop a process to utilize these resources to support projects that align with the CNYREDC’s strategic plan in a way that stimulates job creation and economic growth for the region.

The Excelsior Jobs Program provides job creation and investment incentives to firms in targeted industries such as biotechnology, pharmaceutical, high-tech, clean-technology, green technology, financial services, agriculture and manufacturing. Firms in these industries that create and maintain new jobs or make significant financial investment are eligible to apply for up to four fully refundable tax credits. The Program encourages businesses to expand in and relocate to New York while maintaining strict accountability standards to guarantee that businesses deliver on job and investment commitments.

Program costs are capped at $500 million annually to maintain fiscal affordability and ensure that New Yorkers realize a positive return on their investment. Businesses claim the credits over a 10 year period. To earn any of the following credits, firms must first meet and maintain the established job and investment thresholds.

Applicants wishing to receive economic development resources from New York State must complete a CFA for each project submitted. The deadline for all CFA submissions is 4 p.m. on Monday, July 16, 2012. Application materials are available online at https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/index.cfm.

Last year, Governor Cuomo announced the creation of ten Regional Economic Development Councils to transform New York’s approach to economic development. The Regional Councils exceeded all expectations and redefined the way New York invests in job creation. To build on that success and keep the momentum going, Governor Cuomo has launched a second round of up to $750 million in economic development funding, including $220 million to implement regional strategic plans and support priority projects – $150 million in capital and $70 million in tax credits from the Excelsior Jobs Program – and over $530 million from state agency programs through the CFA to support regionally significant economic development projects.

As part of the Regional Council initiative, the CFA was created to serve as the single application economic development projects must complete to be eligible to access the state resources that have been made available to support the Regional Councils. The CFA allows an applicant to access multiple funding sources from dozens of existing programs through one comprehensive, web-based application.

For the second round, the CFA will provide access to economic development resources from 21 programs across a dozen state agencies. Improvements to the CFA in 2012 have made it an even more business-friendly and productive tool for economic development. It will remain the primary portal for businesses to apply for state agency resources, including resources for community development, direct assistance to business, waterfront revitalization, energy and environmental improvements, sustainability, workforce development, agricultural economic development and low-cost financing.

State agencies and authorities making resources available in the 2012 CFA include: Empire State Development; NYS Canal Corporation; NYS Energy Research and Development Authority; Environmental Facilities Corporation; Homes and Community Renewal; Department of Labor; Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Department of State; New York Power Authority; Agriculture and Markets; Department of Environment Conservation; and the Council on the Arts.

In addition, the New York Power Authority and Economic Development Power Allocation Board (EDPAB) will be using the CFA to implement “Recharge New York,” a new, low-cost power program for New York businesses and not-for-profits. NYSERDA will continue to accept applications to its open enrollment energy efficiency programs until all funds have been exhausted.

Once the CFA is submitted by the applicant, it goes to the local Regional Council to be reviewed and ranked as part of its strategic planning process. The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council includes Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, Cortland and Cayuga Counties.

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit www.nyworks.ny.gov.

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