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Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Announces Community Revitalization and Job Creating Programs Now Accepting Applications

PACB gives final clearance for Rural Initiative Fund, Community Revitalization & Shovel Ready Programs to spur job creation and critical economic development projects
(May 21, 2012)

Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Announces Community Revitalization and Job Creating Programs Now Accepting Applications

The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council today announced that three regional, job creating programs have received approval from the Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) - clearing the way to begin accepting applications for projects across the eight counties in the Southern Tier. As part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Regional Council initiative, $8 million in economic development resources were allocated to support the Rural Initiative Fund Program ($3 million), Community Revitalization Program ($2.5 million) and Shovel Ready Program ($2.5 million), which will establish regional low-interest loan and grant funds to facilitate economic site development and business promotion across the Southern Tier.

"These programs will encourage private investment and structure projects that identify local needs to create much-needed jobs and drive our economy forward," said Co-chair David Skorton, President of Cornell University. "The type of projects advanced by this initiative will greatly benefit our communities and ensure regional prosperity into the future."

"The three project programs are consistent with the Regional Plan and will fund community development and construction projects based on the best use of our region's assets, especially our rural areas and communities in need of redevelopment," said Co-chair Tom Tranter, President & CEO of Corning Enterprises. "I strongly encourage everyone eligible to apply and create competition for these funds so we can identify the job creating projects we need to spur economic growth in our region."

Empire State Development (ESD) approved funding the three initiatives at its April 17th board meeting and held a public hearing in Corning on May 3rd. Applications are now being accepted through the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Corporation (STREDC), which is administering the programs on behalf of the Regional Council. In addition to the ESD funding, the NYS Department of Transportation has allocated $2,299,000 in Multi-modal #4 dollars to the Council's Community Revitalization Program.

Program guidelines and applications are now available on the Regional Council website at http://nyworks.ny.gov/content/southern-tier.

Rural Initiative Fund Program - $3,000,000
This program will establish a regional low-interest loan and grant fund to reduce financial risk and increase sustainability of agriculture and forestry ventures and to encourage investment and job creation. The project program is consistent with the Regional Plan and defined strategies based on the best use of the region's assets, ability to capitalize on opportunities and address critical issues impeding growth and will also fulfill the regional strategy to revitalize the rural farm and forest-based economy in the Southern Tier. The program will provide gap financing for priority activities, including development and promotion of value-added agricultural products, development of new markets, renewable energy initiatives, increased land productivity, applications of new technologies, and growth in net agricultural revenue. Eligible applicants include new and existing businesses within the eight-county Southern Tier Region.

Community Revitalization Program - $2,500,000
The Community Revitalization Program will facilitate the redevelopment of downtown and community center locations to encourage investment and job creation. The Community Revitalization Program is a priority project that is consistent with the Regional Plan and will fulfill the strategy to strengthen the Southern Tier's economic development backbone. The program will assist community neighborhood commercial center revitalization projects to improve downtowns with mixed-use residential/commercial and retail opportunities. Communities utilizing these funds will have the ability to identify their own priorities and structure projects to support unique local needs in targeted areas. Eligible applicants will include cities, towns and villages within the eight counties in the Southern Tier Region. The available resources will provide gap financing for capital use and will leverage additional financing from federal, state, municipal, and local development agencies, and corporations and private sector entities.

Shovel Ready Program - $2,500,000
This regional low-interest loan program will provide gap financing to facilitate site development, including environmental remediation, demolition, site preparation activities, and installation of infrastructure. The Shovel Ready Program will increase the Southern Tier Region's capacity to attract and support business development by lowering the cost of site preparation and helping to position sites for NYS Shovel Ready Certification, which is a component of ESD's Build Now-NY program which has been helping local communities attract substantial private-sector investment and create jobs. Communities throughout the Southern Tier utilizing these funds will be more competitive in future site selection activity, resulting in investment and new job creation. The application process will be open-ended and will be accepted until all funds are committed to projects. Eligible applicants include municipalities, municipal authorities, economic development organizations, industrial development agencies, chambers of commerce and local development corporations.

To learn more about the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Councils and its strategic plan and projects for economic growth, visit http://nyworks.ny.gov/content/southern-tier

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